Monday, April 28, 2014

Aloha 'oe, 'Apelila ("Farewell To You, April" in Hawaiian)

We always find it so intriguing that our saling "finds" take on such unpredictable patterns. There are weeks that we find lots of vintage Christmas items and not just from one stop. We will go to four or five sales and find vintage Christmas items at three of them. Other weeks, we never even see anything that even resembles a Santa Claus or an angel. We have weeks where we bring home lots of records. Other weeks...none. We have had weeks where every stop yields some books whether they be vintage cookbooks or old "how to" guides or children's books or old appliance guides. Then, we will not see another book that we like for weeks! The unpredictability make things extremely exciting. Granted, when we see the ads for the sales we target, we sometimes know what to expect. Phrases like "Vintage Christmas" give us a hint at what we might find and, of course, some of the ads even have pictures (not that those items are guaranteed to be there when we arrive).  We like finding things that make us smile but the search through old houses and the thrill of uncovering an unexpected treasure really adds a lot to the excitement of the day!

This was one of those days that would surprise us. We did see the words "records" and "Christmas" each used once in an ad but nothing else was that specific. In the ads that did have pictures, we did not see anything that might indicate what we might find. We did list nine potential sales which is the most we have found in some time. We knew we would not be able to visit all of them because of their distance from one another. We would have to pick and choose based on their proximity to one another and our instincts...and so we did. The closest sale to us didn't begin until 10 am and that is a late start for us. We made the most of it by stopping for breakfast first. By the time we were done and in front of our first house, it was just a few minutes past 10 am. We timed it well

This first sale really didn't advertise anything other than "records" but it was an estate sale, it was close to us and you just never know! It was a quick stop. We came home with one record. Hopefully, our next stop would bring us better results.

Stop #2 was on its second day of their sale. We knew that we may have missed out on things but we have had some great luck with second day sales recently. We think that maybe the dealers don't like a lot of what we like. 

The bathroom inside was pretty old. It had a mint green sink and toilet. 

Another view of the bathroom. It also had a mint green bathtub and a cool floor.

Nothing says "I haven't updated my den in some time" quite like a sailfish mounted on a knotty pine wall! 

The sale was run by the family of the deceased and there was hardly anyone searching the house when we were there. We found a Tiki idol, four Don Ho glasses, two records (including a Hawaiian record), some vintage aprons, a die cut drink menu card from the Polynesian Palace (home of The Don Ho Show!) and a few other things and all for $4. They just wanted things gone...and we wanted to take them home! 

Our next stop was 25 minutes away and boasted "50 years of accumulation". It was worth a shot.

As we got closer, we saw this sign on a pole. Handwritten signs do not have spell check. Luckily, it was not a sign advertising our stop!

This was our next stop and Monica was happy that we had arrived!

There was this great old cabinet in the basement that had seen better days but it was still cool!

It was cooler still because it had a boomerang countertop!

There was a lot to search through but, alas, no attic. We did find a New Year's honeycomb decoration, a Christmas popcorn decoration, some old gift tags, a couple of books, a wooden pineapple bowl (made in Hawaii) and a Tiki bowl. It was another good stop

Stop #4 was advertised as "Grandma's house" and we were hoping Grandma had some nice stuff. 

Grandma had a pencil sharpener mounted in the basement. That's always a good sign! Grandma also had some vintage melmac bowls (there was no sign of ALF) , a couple of Mica houses and a honeycomb Halloween decoration. The people in charge of Grandma's belongings let us have all of this for $3. 

Stop #5 was listed as an estate and mentioned "Christmas". That was not much to go on but it was only eight minutes from the previous stop. There were a few items out on the lawn which fully explains why Monica didn't pose for this picture. She was already saling! It was an extremely quick stop and there was very little here. We did take home one record and a 10 inch fan. It is a new fan but it is something we talked about needing. This particular fan normally goes for $25 in the store and it was marked $5. 

We decided we would just go to one more sale and it was run by a tag sale company we know. Their sales are usually pretty good but always seem to have lines outside for the first couple of hours. This was mid-afternoon and we figured we would avoid the lines. We did. There was no sale. They listed this on their website but did not advertise anywhere else (unusual for them). We are guessing that the sale was postponed and they forget to update their site. That's okay. It was a beautiful day and the ride was nice.

Around the corner from the non-existent sale was this sign. We heeded its warning. We drove slowly. The ducks are our friends.

There they were. They were enjoying their day too!

Here are some of the things we took home with us today:
Some records

Some books

An apron for Monica

Another apron for Monica

Old gift tags

Some Christmas things

Holiday honeycomb decorations

Birthday cake toppers and candle holders

Some vintage melmac bowls

This salt and pepper shaker...

He splits into two parts

An old Halloween make up kit still in its original package (Rob had this as a kid), a vintage zipper pull for Monica, a small Tupperware container and a package of old birthday candles

An old postcard pack from Hawaii

A monkey pod bowl made in Hawaii, a Tiki idol and a wooden Tiki bowl

Four Don Ho glasses from the Polynesian Palace. It's funny that we found these because we discovered that one of ours was broken this week!

The front of a die-cut drink menu from the Polynesian Palace

The back of the Polynesian Palace drink menu. It is the home of The Don Ho Show!!!

When the day began, we had no idea what to expect and what the theme of the day would be. There was no hint from the description of the sales at all. At the end of the day, we knew it was Hawaiian Day with monkey pod bowls, Tiki idols and lots of remembrances of Don Ho waiting to be found

Aloha 'oe, 'Apelila! That means "Farewell to you" in Hawaiian. We'll see you in May! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Easter Bunny and The Silence Of The Lamb

It had already been a busy weekend celebrating Monica's birthday and Easter would be no different. We had plans to go to Monica's sister's house and that always means a great time. We offered to make dessert for Easter and we knew that we had some baking to do on Sunday. This would be our first attempt at baking cakes but we had a vision, we had each other and we had vintage bunny and lamb cake pans! How could anything go wrong? Well, more on that later.

Not all of our Easter preparations were done on Easter. Right after St. Patrick's Day, we started to decorate the house for Easter.

We have had this shadow box sitting in front of the bar/turntable set in our Living Room ever since we picked this up at a sale a few months ago. We have been trying to decide where to hang it.  In the meantime, we decided to decorate it as well. (we have since decided where it will hang but that will be part of a post next week). 

We tried to decorate the Living Room wherever space was available

We also had to dye the Easter eggs and that would not wait until Sunday either! 
Six different colors were prepared. We have some old PAAS decorating kits but we never use those. We always buy a new package every year just after Easter to use the following year (at a 50-75% discount over its original price)

Twelve eggs freshly dyed. The one in the front middle cracked during hard boiling. It was easy to figure out what design we would make on that one!

We were all ready for Easter Sunday...except for the baking. What concern could we possibly have. We were prepared and there was plenty of time. Although neither of us have actually baked a cake before, we did our research, made sure we had everything we would need and we figured we were ready.

We planned to make two cakes, one bunny and one lamb, using these vintage cake molds. We had a pretty good idea of how we wanted them to turn out. We did decide that a white bunny and white lamb would be boring so we decided on a purple bunny and a yellow lamb. Both were Easter pastel colors and we had food coloring to mix into the vanilla frosting we bought.

The baking of the cake went really well. We had no problem, whatsoever, mixing the ingredients, pouring the batter into the molds and baking them. Aside from a little weakness in one of the bunny's feet, the cakes could not have possibly have turned out better! We were bakers! The final challenge would be frosting them. Were we cake decorators? We would soon find out.

This is a picture of what we were visualized for the lamb except that it would be yellow. We removed the cakes carefully from their molds and stood them up on separate plates so we could frost them. Monica decided that she would frost the bunny while Rob frosted the lamb. The food coloring in the frosting worked really well and things were moving along very nicely...and then things started to fall apart...rapidly.

First, the weak foot on Monica's bunny was getting weaker and would not stand at all. She had to lay him down on his side. On the bright side, that would save frosting time. The next problem was Rob was attempting to "scallop" his lamb (like the one pictured above) but came to the unfortunate realization that we did not have enough frosting for that. The lamb would have to be a smooth lamb. We worked feverishly at working through the unexpected obstacles that we suddenly encountered. Our attitude was good. Our work ethic was good. Our frosting skills...well, not so much.

Monica's bunny...the finished product and, truthfully, not too bad at all. 

Rob's lamb was not really very close to what he had visualized. In a moment of sheer brilliance (or momentary lack of judgment or maybe just panic), he decided to make it  a clown lamb to mask its obvious flaws.

Once again, here was what we were visualizing when we first set out to make this lamb...

...and here was the finished product.  Nailed it! 

By the way, the mouth that Rob made on the cake dripped after he drew it (as if that was its biggest flaw). Rob thought it looked like a Dr. Seuss character when finished! We placed some friendly Peeps around the "lamb" so everyone would remain calm when first seeing him.

We brought the cakes to Monica's sister's house. The kids were a little horrified, at first, but they loved the cake! 

So what we discovered, after this first foray into baking, is that we can bake pretty well but that our cake decorating skills need a lot of work. However, we were not scared off by this first attempt (which speaks volumes about our fortitude and perseverance) and we will definitely try baking again soon! And, truth be told, we really had a lot of fun and laughs doing this together.

In the end, we delivered the desserts we promised, they tasted good and no one had any nightmares!

We would eat this in a house
We would eat this with a mouse
It is cake, it is not spam
And we like it, Lamb-I-Am

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monica's Birthday Weekend And Some Saling Too!

Thursday was Monica's birthday and the celebration began a little early. We had pizza at Monica's sister's house the night before and...

...of course there was a birthday cake! It's hard to sing "Happy Birthday" without a cake! 

Monica's first birthday cake this year. It was a carrot cake!

Thursday arrived and so did Monica's birthday! We both had to work that day but, when Monica arrived home, there were some changes inside the house!


A honeycomb party ball and some streamers

More balloons

The kitchen was decorated appropriately

Beautiful flowers for a beautiful birthday girl!

Rob wasn't the only inhabitant of our house to wish Monica a Happy Birthday!!!!

Everyone was happy! 

We decided to save the birthday dinner for Saturday night since we both had to work on Friday so we just picked up so take-out Chinese food on Monica's birthday

Of course, Monica did have a second birthday cake...

...and Monica got to blow out a candle again!  

On Saturday, we turned our attention to saling once again. For the day before Easter, the pickings were not as slim as we thought they would be. There were no standouts but we made a list of six stops; three of which were definites on our list and three were extras in case we had some time. We had plans for dinner so we did not want to be out all day.

Stop #1 was in the next town from our house and the decision to stop there first was easy. Some of the items were displayed outside, something we expect to see more of now that the weather is getting nicer. It was an estate sale run by the family of the deceased and the words "Vintage Christmas" appeared in the ad. That got our attention! Well, as it turned out, there was not much vintage Christmas there (we did get one small blow mold Santa) but we did get a Banana Splits plastic cup, a ceramic dog and some great vintage cards. 

Our second stop was 25 minutes away and we stopped to sit down and have some breakfast first. We didn't want to eat too late because we wanted to have a good appetite for Monica's birthday dinner that night.

 On the way to stop #2, we saw this sign on the wall of a building. Doodyman! Funny! 

This was house #2. The tag sale company running this sale told us about it last week and told us that there were some vintage Christmas items here and there were...but not too many. Still, we found a few nice Christmas items and a Pyrex dish.

It was time to move onto stop #3. It was only a few moments away and we stopped just long enough to admire the drunk guy on the front lawn.

Stop #3 was in front of us and Monica was happy (and why was her birthday weekend)! The ad for this house boasted of "50's mid-century bedroom sets" and "a bar with stools". Hmmmm...a quick tour of the house told us that they may have exaggerated a bit. We did not find much to our liking and came home with just one record. We decided to skip the three potential stops we also had on our list in order to save enough time for the evening birthday dinner. Well, we did stop at one garage sale that was around the corner from the last stop and we did find a few records there. 'Tis the season to chase garage sale signs! 

Here are some of the things we brought home with us:
Some records

Some vintage greeting cards. We took home between 75-100 of them on Saturday

Some more vintage greeting cards. They are small and the ones that are dated are from the 1940's and 1950's

A small Santa blow mold, a honeycomb Christmas bell (marked Japan) and a Santa planter (also marked Japan)

A cardboard wreath backer and a felt Christmas decoration marked Japan

A ceramic dog, a Pyrex bowl (perfect for making brownies) and a plastic Banana Splits mug dated 1969

After a brief nap, it was time to get ready for Monica's birthday dinner. King Yum is located about 45 minutes from our house and it is one of our favorite places to eat.  It has been around since 1953 and it is very much unspoiled inside. Great food AND great atmosphere!

Monica wore her leopard coat for the occasion! 

We were ready to eat! 

This is a waterfall just inside the restaurant and is guarded by the Tiki Gods! People throw coins in there for good luck! 

An exotic drink for each of us! Actually, we share both of them!

Monica forgot to bring her birthday crown but she did manage to wear one of the drink umbrellas!

Just like one of our drinks, Rob's "Hawaii Chicken" was delivered still aflame!

This Tiki God watched over our table

He did a good job and Rob thanked him! The Tiki God smiled!

There were lots of Tiki Gods in the house...and Tiki lights! 

Great food makes for empty plates by the end of the evening! 

They surprised Monica with ice cream and cookies and the ice cream had a candle in it. It wasn't cake but it was a third birthday dessert for Monica! It was a great night out together and a fun celebration of Monica's birthday! Lots of smiles for us...and the ducks...and the Tiki Gods. 

Well, this was the 100th post on Our Adventures Amongst The Ducks. We talked about doing a blog together for a long time and finally started it in January, 2013. We like doing this blog so much that we signed up to do another 100 posts. Thank you to anyone who has ever read this blog and we hope that, at some point, we added a smile to your day! 

The weekend would finish with Easter but that will be post #101