Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Only Game In Town

Once again, as it had been for the last few weeks, our Saturday saling list consisted of just one sale. It is winter and this time of year is slow for sales but, even then, the last few weeks seem slower than in recent years. It's not that there aren't sales. It's that there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of our type of sales. Our saving grace in recent weeks was that there were other sales in the area that might draw some of the dealers elsewhere...resalable items at a profit. There just didn't seem like those sales even existed this week. The sale we chose was the only game in town. We expected a line no matter how early we arrived. We expected stiff competition. We were not wrong.

Despite the snow on the ground...despite the ice on most sidewalks...despite temperatures in the low teens, there was a line. We arrived fifteen minutes after the sale began, hoping to shorten our wait outside but we didn't. We are guessing that the line began to form a couple of hours before the sale began. After all, it was the only game in town.

After a cold thirty minute wait on the outside of the house, we made it inside. There was nothing that said that this was a must stop but it was the only one that showed potential. The first area we were going to tackle was the basement. There was a pencil sharpener mounted to the wall. That is always a good sign

We quickly found out that the Christmas things were in the basement and we eagerly searched through what was there but we already knew that we missed out on some things we would have wanted. As we made our way to the basement, we saw, in the hands of some of the people who were there before us, some Christmas things that we definitely would have liked. Still, our search did uncover a few items that were missed and we would not leave empty-handed.

There was a really cool bar downstairs that Rob thoroughly searched. The bar was a lot cooler than the things that sat behind it...

...except for this cool shelf. We loved the design! 

After we were satisfied that everything in the basement was explored, we went through every room on the main floor. There was lots of competition because it was the only game in town. Still, we found a few nice things to bring home.

Here are some things that took the ride home with us:

Some records

Some coasters and stirrers

Some "Starburst" pattern spoons. We have a set that we use every day but these are different sized spoons than we have in our set

A pair of old honeycomb bells, an old turquoise plastic planter and a pair of old New Year's Eve noisemakers

Some vintage plastic ashtrays

A Starburst towel holder with its original box

An old Christmas pin for Monica

Some Christmas things

Despite having lost out on several things that we would have liked and having no other sales, we did have fun together and used the extra time wisely. We visited Monica' dad for a few hours....we picked up Chinese Food Take-Out on Valentine's Day Night; choosing instead to go out to dinner the night after under less crowded conditions...and we relaxed together.

After a Sunday of running errands and doing our household chores, we went to dinner at a sushi restaurant near our house. It only opened a few months ago and is owned by the same family that owned our previous favorite sushi restaurant. That place closed when the landlord decided not to renew the lease. We were happy to find that the food and atmosphere were just as good as their previous restaurant! The cat made friends with two of our lucky tiki idols (the cat belonged to the restaurant...we brought the tikis).

We were off on Monday for President's Day and found one privately listed sale which did have some great old salt and pepper shakers but they were way overpriced and we left empty-handed. We also went to several thrift shops; mainly to donate some of Monica's mom's clothing but also to do a little shopping. We did not find anything for us at all (except for a scarf for Rob) but it was a fun day anyway. A day off from work that we can spend together is always reason enough to smile.

As for the weather, it has continued the brutal pattern that began a month ago. We get a little snow twice a week and temperatures have been brutal. It has only reached the 40 degree mark once in February. The average low daily temperature during the month of February has historically run between 23 and 25 degrees. The actual daily low temperature has been lower than 20 degrees on twelve of those days. The last four days have seen temperatures in the single digits and we saw wind chills below zero both days of this past weekend. The forecast for the rest of the month doesn't look much better. We think the groundhog let us down. And, just in case there was any doubt at all...

...the guy on the right is winning. He's winning by a large margin.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day, 2015 

We decorated. It takes a lot less time than Christmas decorating! 

Rob woke up to find these of the table. Each heart has a different picture of us together...and there were heart-shaped cookies!

Monica got roses. Beautiful flowers for a beautiful girl! 

We spent the morning saling but that tale will be told in our next post. Our Valentine's Day dinner out would be the day after. The weather forecast called for snow starting in the afternoon and we wanted to stay off the roads (though we did pick up Chinese food take-out from a restaurant a few minutes from home)

Rob went outside to check on the snow and found these messages from Monica written on her car

Valentine's Day is almost over on the calendar...but it lives every day in our hearts...every day of forever.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

And Winter Continues

During the month and December and halfway through January, it looked like we would escape the winter relatively unscathed. There was a little snow but nothing that felt intrusive to our quality of life. We were never snowbound. There were no snow days. There was very little shoveling. There was very little in the way of days whose temperatures could be classified as frigid or brutal. Winters in this part of the world seem to run in patterns, at least during our lifetime. Several winters in a row would be defined as rough, snowy winters. Then, several winters in a row would be mild with just a little snow. Our last few winters have fallen into the category of true winters with at least of few instances of significant snow and at least one snowfall that could be labeled a memorable snow event. For the first month of this winter, it looked as if we had changed the trend. The last four weeks have changed everything. We have had several snowfalls of note. We have had one blizzard that left a blanket of 19 inches of snow and begat a snow day. We have had several days whose temperatures forced us to check the record books to see if a new entry was necessary. Perhaps there is a correlation between the weather and the scarcity of great sales.

For the second week in a row, we targeted only one sale. There were a few others that made our original list but, upon looking again, we eliminated them. We chose, instead, to go to the one sale that showed potential and then to visit Monica's dad for a few hours. It would be a day well spent.

 Our one sale had no specific description that caught our eye nor were there any pictures of anything we were specifically targeting. The pictures did, however, hint at a house that had not been disturbed in may a year and that might have some hidden treasures that might just be uncovered by us. That was our hope. 

The main floor had a bathroom that was not in the best of shape but was old. Turquoise tiles, a turquoise toilet and a great old floor told us that we may have made a good decision.

On the way down the basement stairs, we spied the remnants of an old pencil sharpener...always a good sign! 

The basement was a fun place to search. This couch was groovy. We're sure Greg Brady would agree! 

There were many spots in the basement that were cluttered like this. It always makes for good hunting! 

There was a cool television in the basement that we did not get

There were so many looks into the past on the main floor this dishwasher,

We spent two hours in this house and, although no appliances or electronics were able to call our house their new home, we did find several things of interest and we did not go home empty handed. Here is what we did bring home:

Some records

A book on Indians from 1962. Thee are no more Indians...just Native Americans.

A shirt for Rob

It is a Jantzen

A package of old Easter eggs and a Keds giveaway frisbee

Some old Halloween blow mold pumpkins and some old Halloween die cuts

Starburst light covers. We have the fixture that these belong to but we did not have the original covers. These are from the early 1960's and were an incredibly useful find! 

A close up view of one of the starburst light covers

Vintage Christmas cards

A roll of vintage Christmas wrapping paper

A pair of old Christmas stockings...

...that are reversible! 

It was one stop but it was a fun stop that we enjoyed very much. After getting a late breakfast, we stopped at Monica's dad's house for a few hours and then spent the evening at home. Sunday, as always, was spent doing errands and chores and, of course, finding time to relax together. The errands necessarily included food shopping. Monday was predicted to be a tough traveling day...and it was. A coating of freezing rain and sleet made the roadways treacherous. 

We made it through. We always do. We look forward to the spring. We know it will come eventually. In the meantime, we have each other to stay warm. That is all we will ever really need. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Just One Sale

This post is for the weekend beginning January 31, 2015. We will be caught up soon!

It was still winter...and it was still January...and estate sales were still slow. The roads were clear of snow in our post-blizzard world (though we did get a couple of more inches during the week). Yes...the roads were clear but the lawns didn't seem like they would be for months! 

As for the sales, there was just one. We really weren't surprised but we were still hopeful, as the week began, that we would at least have a few sales to visit. As it turns out, we didn't. There was only one sale that showed any potential. That one sale became our list for Saturday. With a recently cleared road and hope in our hearts, off we went!

Our first sale, well...our only sale was about thirty minutes from our house and was advertised as a vintage home. The pictures showed some cool vintage furniture and, although we have no room for any more furniture, we were interested in might also be there from the same time period. All of the houses were set back from the road and had long driveways and we just weren't sure which had the sale initially. At first, we thought it might be this house and we hoped the driveway was well shoveled! 

As it turned out, that wasn't the house...this was. At least, this was the driveway and, while it was long and steep, it was shoveled and that was good. Monica was encouraging Rob to hurry up! 

The entrance into the sale was through a garage which really turned out to be a good thing because...

...there was a line and it was cold outside! We managed to get inside after only a twenty minute wait and we made the most of our time. We found five vintage flowerpots including some McCoy pots...and we also found some packets of cow manure which is something we thought of using in the garden this spring.

There were two big floors to search and the first one we tackled was the basement. We loved this a lot but it was definitely in need of some restoration and, unfortunately, we do not have room for this right now.

The basement had plenty of places worth searching. We left no drawer unopened

The main floor had lots of rooms to search too...and some great furniture

Here's another look at the living room. You can see the bar area in the upper right portion of this picture.

We also saw this great old television which was marked as a 1955 model. Although we did not buy any furniture or electronics, we did get some great things and it was a great sale.

Here are the things we brought home:

A Christmas record...

...the inside has a place to mark it as a gift!

Some cookbooks

Some more cookbooks

More cookbooks

And more cookbooks

More cookbooks plus some recipe cards from Beatrice Cooke

Cake decorating stencils, a drink recipe giveaway and several household books

Books and a road map. 

Old brochures from Howe Caverns and Lake George and an old Lake George patch

Old postcards from Niagara Falls and a pair of matchbooks from Niagara Falls' Anchor Motel; all from 1959

Some old flowerpots

Some old packets of cow manure that we will use in our garden this spring

An old cake decorator's level, a zipper repair kit, two Tintex household dye packages, a super Add-A-Matic (made in Japan), a package of special occasion place cards and some old Cracker Jack prizes.

"Pink Poodle" nail polish, plastic salt and pepper shakers, an old Meow Mix squeak toy, an old Geisler can of catnip and a vintage glass

Some old birthday cake toppers and candles

Some Howard Johnson's picks

Some old Ocean Spray and Spry labels. There are lots of recipes and special offers on the labels! 

Vintage greeting cards for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, New Year's Day and more!

More vintage cards

Vintage Christmas cards

Some vintage Christmas things

Three boxes of Shiny Brites and a knee hugger elf (marked Japan). The boxes are empty except for the four ornament shown. We will use these to store loose ornaments that we already have

We spent Sunday doing our errands and finding some time to relax together. Of course, we had to prepare for winter storm round two. For the second week in a row, a Sunday night into Monday storm was on its way. Last week, it brought 19 inches of snow with it. 

This time, it would be freezing rain and then sleet and then snow; the combination of which would leave the roadways treacherous. Rob pulled over on the side of the road to capture this view of the road on his way home from work Monday.

Monday was also Groundhog Day and Monica surprised Rob with a groundhog shaped meatball on top of his spaghetti. Of course, there were lots of regular meatballs and lots of spaghetti sauce that was added right after this picture but the groundhog meatball was his favorite. There are a few official groundhogs in our area. Some saw their shadow. Some didn't We still don't know how long winter will last but we'll get through it together. We always do.