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.


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.


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.


Another beautiful glass jar (thirty-nine dollars)


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.


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


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


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.


Adorable doll house display.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

love goes on and on

2007 big sister

On Saturday, this photo came up in my memories on another social media site.  It is a photo I took of Grace eleven years ago, when she was seven years old.  I immediately wondered if we could capture the photo with her little sister, Sarah, who is eight.  Rich and I were away with Ethan and his girlfriend, so Grace took the photo of her little sister.

2018 little sister

Once we watched a lazy world go by
Now the days seem to fly
Life is brief, but when it’s gone
Love goes on, and on……. 

this morning


(woolly bear caterpillar on the road)

Amanda came over for a few hours this morning.  She brought her dog Lloyd.  The three of us went on a nice walk together.

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The air was crisp and clean.  The kind of morning when you want to breath deep.

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my sister ~ my friend

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scenes from the neighborhood

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“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands”
~Christina Rossetti

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“How beautifully leaves grow old.  
How full of light and color are their last days.”  ~John Burroughs


My sister almost stepped on a lizard!

I was so thrilled and promptly took photos from every angle.

I looked it up when we got home and discovered it was a “Spotted Salamander” and Connecticut’s largest salamander.

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Just look at the spots!

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Maybe it was trying to find a little warmth on the road?  But the road is a very unsafe place to be, so I saved its little life by putting it in the leaves on the edge of the woods.



heading back home


I made pumpkin cookies this morning, too, from a 1972 Pennsylvania State Grange cookbook.


If anyone knows Mrs. Robert Conaway tell her I used sunflowers seeds instead of nuts, and I also included one egg.  They were delicious.


brimfield again


We live about 40 minutes from the Brimfield antique show so I will have at least one post a year (I think this is the second one this year) regarding the show… is just so fun to drive up in the morning, walk all over the place, eat lunch, and then come home.

Especially if you’re with a sister or two.


This reminded us of our own Aunt Mary.  ❤



Amanda found a nice green table with glass inserts right away for only 40 dollars so we walked it back to the car.


I saw a few pieces of fiesta that I wanted to buy, but I decided not to because I have so much already……

Apparently I can show restraint now and then.



She loves sunflowers.


We thought this was neat…someone “carved” these tins into Halloween jack o’ lanterns.  They will look neat with a light inside.



Amanda bought a wool blanket.  I found three wooden bats for Seth.

And, I bought this little xylophone.  It makes a very pleasant musical sound.


We had lunch right there at the show (hot buttery lobster roll for me!) and then headed home, stopping at the thrift store in town and the diner for ice cream cones on the way.

bringing it back {this moment}

I hope blogger soulemama doesn’t mind!  She was the original mastermind behind these posts and a whole bunch of us were following along and had great fun.  Alas, she discontinued her “this moment” Friday posts a while back now.  However, I missed the opportunity and the fun it was to be on the look out for that “something sweet” to photograph and put on the blog~with no words.  She intended it for sharing so I don’t think she’ll mind if I once again take advantage of her generosity, so without further ado;

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


grace at the christmas house


I dragged myself out of my cozy bed this morning to go wake up Seth for school, and wake him up I did, out of a sound sleep.  We came upstairs together to find Caleb in the rocking chair, “There is a two hour delay, mom,” he says.  Seriously, I could have stayed asleep.  Ugh.  But once up, I stay up and I made pancakes and bacon and hugged everyone.  I heard a report from Caleb and Grace that “Sherlock was meowing all morning and wouldn’t stop.  Jacob finally put him outside.”  After the children all left for school I found the cat under the porch, in distress.  “What is wrong with this cat?” I wondered, and then thought to myself, “He did bite Caleb not long ago, maybe he has rabies.”  The more I thought about it the more I was convinced that he had rabies and since he bit Caleb, Caleb naturally had rabies as well.  I called the vet and sure enough, his rabies vaccine had needed updating a year ago.  I made an appointment to take the cat to the vet and also put in a call to the pediatrician to let them know Caleb was bitten by a cat that didn’t have his shots up to date and probably had rabies but I didn’t know because I was on my way to the vet with the cat.  I had to leave a message and left to travel to the vets with my sad cat.

I was crying when I explained to the technician that I feared that my cat had rabies and that he had bitten my son.  She quickly left the room to send in the vet, who came in saying, “Sherlock was vaccinated for rabies in the past and there is no way he can get rabies or pass rabies on to your son especially since it has been over two weeks since he bit your child.”  She felt Sherlock all over and announced “Oh this is his problem, your cat cannot pass urine, he is blocked.”  So I cried some more and tried calling my husband to ask him what to do and if we could spend 800 dollars to get Sherlock on the road to recovery.  Rich grew up on a farm and values all living creatures, but only to a certain extent.  ha ha.   Providentially for the children and I, he did not answer his phone, so I called my son Jacob, who after all is a man now.  After talking it through with Jacob we decided to go ahead and get treatment for our cat, as the only other option according to the vet would be to put him to sleep.  All of us love Sherlock very much and since he had a sickness which could be treated, we decided that even though it would cost 800 dollars we felt responsible for his care and knew that in this instance it was the right decision to help our dear pet, after all he probably only bit Caleb because he was grumpy about his condition.

I drove home without Sherlock, who was being busily sedated and catheterized by the vet and her assistants to remove his blockage, which, as explained to me, was a multitude of crystals in his urine that had built up over time.  In fact, the vet was a dear older lady who became a vet later in life after her own cat had the same condition.  She told me that she was so impressed by her cat’s vet that she decided to become one as well.  She was very nice, I liked her a lot.  I’m wondering if now I will become a vet, too.  😉


I came home and ran 2 miles on the treadmill while texting my brother Dave in order to settle myself down again.

I am now sitting cross legged on my bed attempting to blog about Grace at the Christmas house.

Grace is part of the Madrigals singing group at her school and they dress up in victorian clothing and sing Christmas carols a cappella in exquisite harmony at many different venues.  They were scheduled to sing at a lovely decorated museum on Saturday so I went and took Sarah with me.  Rich came a little later, as well.


I loved the wall paper.


There were decorations everywhere, and a little gift shop in which Sarah spent a few dollars on matching Menorah necklaces for herself and her sister so that Grace, “would never forget me.”  She said this with such sad eyes that Grace quickly told her “I could never forget you, Sarah, you’re my sister.” and then I cried a little.  It was one of those moments.


The acoustics in this room were divine.


When they were finished with their performance, I took a few photos of Grace who was dressed so beautifully.

She was the queen.


There was an older gentleman in the room watching us who invited Grace to sit on the couch (museum furniture is not typically to be sat upon) for a photo.


The music director’s daughter MADE this dress for herself when she was the queen in high school.



Grace with her friend, who was coming to get her for a group portrait outside in front of the house.  I gave the camera to Rich and asked him to try to get a picture of them for me while I went to go help Sarah with something.

And this is what I recieved:


~Merry Christmas~

look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing!


sister day

get kids on bus rush over to sister’s house

talk at the island in the kitchen while sitting on stools as she eats her oatmeal

get warm coats on and go outside

feed chickens and bunnies

talk lots laugh lots

hike through the woods

go inside, watch a movie with crocheted blankets and animals on our laps

start a fire and eat chili

sing hymns

say goodbye, I had the best day today

with you.

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the sisters of the family

a simply wonderful life



Rich and I have two beautiful daughters.

About four years ago they looked like that up there^^

Since it’s spring vacation this week, I had a little extra time to take a few sister pictures.

I bought new shirts for them at target; Grace can wear a size 14/16 and Sarah Joy a size 4, from the girls department.

I waited ten years to have two girls but can you believe this is the first time they’ve dressed alike?








And now,



get ready,



for an explosion,











“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands”

Christina Rosetti (one of my favorite poets)

sisters at the spa



“Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.”  Carol Saline

“And I felt closer to you.  Because you knew me so much better than I’d realized – and still loved me.”  Rosamund Lupton


Amanda has had a challenging winter season this year.  She and her husband have three children and all five of them have been getting sick on and off, together and/or separately for months.  They just got over the latest stomach bug and Amanda was feeling very anxious from the stress of it all.  She decided to go to the spa but she didn’t want to go alone.  Who did she call?  Her awesome sister, of course, and her awesome sister said “yes” right away.

We are all pretty awesome so don’t you think it’s time to take a trip to the nearest spa for some TLC?

When you get there, they will give you a cozy robe and some rubber slippers.  They will give you a locker, and you can immediately change into your bathing suit and put on your robe.  Then, you will sit in a relaxation room and sip water or juice while you wait for your name to be called.  When your name is called, you take a quick trip to the bathroom and then follow your lady to the salt treatment room.  It’s dark and peaceful in there.  You take off your suit and slide between warm towels and the lady rubs your skin with delicious salts.  A ceiling shower is moved over you and all the salt is rinsed away under a drenching shower while you think, “I could stay under here for hours……..”  You are gently dried and left to rest and then put your robe back on.  It feels so good to be pampered and cared for.

Next, you are taken to another dimly lit room, for a one hour massage.  And even if you think that a massage is just not your thing, you will enjoy it.  The tension is worked out of every muscle as the pretty music plays softly and a waterfall trickles nearby.  The lady won’t talk to you, except to give simple instructions.  You don’t have to talk, you don’t even have to open your eyes.  Most of the time they are covered with a warm towel, anyway.  You turn your mind off and rest and breathe.

When the massage is over, you are warm and feel as if every limb is heavy.  You look as relaxed as if you just woke up from a 10 hour deep sleep.  Your skin is completely moisturized.  You forget that your family was sick this winter and that you spent way too much time cleaning up those messes while trying to be a most excellent mama, and wife, and also work full time for the Eye Doctor.

You feel like yourself again.



You have time to eat lunch and read by the pool while you wait for your pedicure.  You have fast conversations with your sister in whispers.  You close your eyes for a little cat nap.


You go in the whirlpool, and the steam room.  You take a hot shower (with multiple heads) and dry off with a warm towel.  Oh, it’s bliss.


After your pedicure, you sit and wait for the toes to dry.



While admiring the sunset.

You are relaxed for the first time in a while, and are ready to face your responsibilities again.

Isn’t a day at the spa worth a little time and money?

We think so!

sister day


















Rich is a wresting coach for the school now.  He is mostly involved in the elementary children’s team, but he also tries to help out with the High School team as much as possible, too.  David and Caleb are in the younger group, and Jacob and Ethan are in the older group, so they are getting a lot of good quality time with their Dad.  There are H.S. wrestling tournaments every Saturday and I went to one.  It was awful exciting, but way too much for me to watch both the matches and the little ones (bounce around the bleachers) while Rich was off in another world (a wrestling world).  I left that day with a splitting head ache and ready to tear my hair out from keeping track of kids and watching my big sons wrestle (disturbing).

I stay home on Saturdays now and Rich goes to the tournaments with Caleb and Seth.  This leaves me with Grace, David, and Sarah, a combination of children which is quiet and calm, perfect for a lovely soothing Saturday at home.

Lately, with my sister Amanda’s children getting sick one after the other over and over, and me with my emotional problems, we have both of us (sisters!) started declining slowly into a sad state of winter BLAHS.  Tired, sick, and sick of being tired.   The remedy was quite simple, really, and began with a texting back and forth on Saturday morning.  I convinced her to come over, even though she had been up most of the night with her sick son.

We left Sarah with Grace, David, and my niece Abbie, and went downtown together.  We began at the coffee place, where she had tea, and I had coffee.  We had bagel sandwiches and while we ate, we talked and talked and talked.

We went next door to a sweet little shopping place that is very much like Anthropologie, with beautiful goods to tempt us.  Franceen, the store owner, knows me by my first name and was so happy to meet Amanda.  “My daughter’s name is Amanda!  Oh, your mother has two beautiful girls!”  she exclaimed.  We both came away with a bag of delightful things, including packages of hot chocolate and special homemade marshmallows.  Feeling a little less tired and little more beautiful.

We went to a vintage clothing store next and tried on fur shawls.  “I look like a bear in this!”  She made me laugh.  I bought a blouse and something for Joanna’s baby boy to be born in February.

Before heading home, we bought chalk to decorate the chalkboard that is on my pantry door.

We arrived home to find the girls in the midst of baking up a quadruple batch of chocolate cupcakes.

Amanda picked out a design inspiration on pinterest for the chalkboard and we set to work.  It was satisfying to create something together.

“What a Wonderful World”

Oh yes, and it was easier to believe, after a sister-day.