Thursday, September 17, 2015

Post Labor Day Saling

The unofficial end to summer may have come last weekend but it is still summer on the calendar and the weather should still be conducive to outdoor sales. Not that outdoor sales are our first choice. They usually aren't. We love the indoor estate sales best. Walking through old houses that still have remnants of days long gone by thrill us. We often imagine what must have been. Every old house seems to have its own individual story that we can almost hear...and we listen...we listen very carefully. Still, when there are outdoor sales, there seem to be more choices. More choices are good! 

A review, during the week, of the sales this weekend provided us with a list of seven potential stops. They were spread out enough that we knew that we not make them all. Still, choices are good and we did not establish a particular route for the day. We knew our first two stops would be sales in the town next to us. After that, we would make our decisions on the road. With a list in hand, off we went!

Our first stop was just one town away and the ad didn't really say much. All it said was "the entire house" and when Monica googled the address, the house looked older. We figured that it was worth a look. Upon arriving, we found that the guy running the sale was someone we knew from past sales. He works for a company that has been around for years but he occasionally runs sales of his own. This was one of them. The house was small and we did not find much but we did leave with one deck of playing cards and one old sewing kit. Onward to sale #2.

Our second stop was in the same town as the first one and was listed as "64 years worth of items" and "lots of vintage". That sounded pretty good to us! We arrived to find a garage sale with several tables. It wound up being a quick stop but a great stop. We found some great vintage pink elephant glasses, lots of vintage Libbey carousel glasses and a few Christmas items.

That second sale was not crowded at all but we did find this toad on the driveway as we were leaving. He looked disappointed. We think he wanted the carousel glasses. 

At this point, we had to choose a direction. We really had two choices. We could head north and see what the "60 year old time capsule" had. The pictures in the ad showed that there were plenty of old things there but nothing in the pictures excited us. Our other choice was to head thirty minutes to the west where "a lifetime collection of treasures and antiques" awaited us. This sale was run by a tag sale company whose sales we attend a lot and there were a few pictures in the ad that intrigued us. The choice was easy and we went westward knowing that it meant we would never make the northward sale at all. 

We traveled by car but not everyone did. We passed this horse and his passenger along the way. We never see horses traveling main roads around here! 

We arrived at sale #3 to find this small house with a familiar sign out front. Monica was already up the driveway while Rob was snapping this picture. She was in a rush to see what "a lifetime collection of treasures and antiques" looked like! 

The house was a little bigger than it looked like from the outside and there were three floors. There were lots of things of interest but some were priced a little higher than we would pay. Still, we did find plenty to take home including a color wheel in its box, some other Christmas things, some old Tupperware, a vintage orange juice glass and a few other things.

Sale #4 was in the same town as the third sale and was on its second day. The pictures in the ad showed some old things (though nothing that stood out) and we thought that it was worth a visit.

The sale was run by a fairly new estate sale company that we have visited in recent months. The owner said that they had a big crowd on the first day so we were searching around for anything that might be left behind. One garage and two floors later, we left with a deck of cards, a ceramic cow creamer, an Esso medallion and an old grill starter.

At this point, we decided to abandon the remaining two sales on our list, both of which were a minimum of thirty minutes away and were of questionable promise. Instead, we visited Monica's dad for a few hours and headed home for the day.

Here are the things we found:

Some records

Some booklets

Some sewing kits (the elephant is a promotional kit for a Republican running for a local office in 1966), some decks of playing cards and an old Esso medallion

An old barbecue grill starter in its package. Monica's dad used this exact same one to start their grill when Monica was a little girl. Rob's dad used to throw a match into the charcoal which was thoroughly soaked with charcoal lighted fluid from a metal can.

A vintage plastic container for hot water that sat on the tables at International House Of Pancakes' restaurants in the late 1960's/early 1970's. It was Sanka whose name was on the other side of the container. There is a slot on top to hold the Sanka packets.

A ceramic cow creamer (marked Japan), some old Tupperware containers (marked Millionaire Line from 1954 and marked as "Tupper") and a vintage orange juice glass. We have a few more of these glasses. The oranges on the glasses are smiling.

Vintage Libbey carousel glasses

Vintage pink elephant glasses

Some vintage Chick-Chick Easter egg coloring packages

An old color wheel in its box

Some Christmas items

It was a fun day of saling together and we found some great things but the houses that we visited this weekend were a little different in that there was nothing inside the hoses that were picture worthy. No old bathrooms. No old cabinets or countertops. No amazing old appliances. Most of the insides were re-done at some point in time and that makes us a little sad. 

There was no barbecuing this weekend as we had rain both Saturday and Sunday evening though we can't complain. This was the first weekend in months that we saw any rain and, of course, whether it rains or not, it is still a weekend spent together...and no amount of rain can ever spoil that time together. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Labor Day Weekend 2015

Our next three day weekend had arrived! It probably wouldn't be a great saling weekend (Labor Day weekend rarely is) but it would be an extra weekend together and that would be nice. Starting Monday, there would be sixteen more weeks remaining in 2015 and eleven of those would be shortened work weeks (due to holidays and/or vacation days) and that made us pretty happy! 

Our Saturday morning did not start with saling, as it typically does, but with some household emergency work. Our washing machine drain hose decided to break just as the washing machine was draining. We were there to see it all unfold and, luckily, we managed to avoid any flood damage. Monica quickly threw down some towels to catch the water that escape and Rob held the hose in place while the water drained out so that we would not have to deal with any additional water. Our washing machine is in an attached garage with a concrete floor and our only fear was that the water would run into some boxes that we have stored in there. We acted fast enough to avoid any problems and after a quick cleanup, a run to the hardware store for a new hose and a quick installation of this new hose, we were ready to move on. A quick stop for lunch and we were ready for saling.

As of Friday night, we actually did not have any sales on our list. It is always slow on Labor Day weekend but there were two last minute ads posted on Saturday morning that seemed worth a look and those two sales became our route for Saturday.

Sale #1 was an "entire contents" sale. The couple (aged 90 and 88) were moving to an assisted living community and just no longer had room for a lot of their things. They had some great old furniture and a bar in the living room but none of these items were our style.

Upstairs, we this very fuzzy chair which was like no other chair we have ever seen! 

We hope that no gossamers were harmed in the making of this chair! 

We didn't find much here to our liking but we enjoyed talking to the couple who was moving. We went home with two old drink mixing pamphlets and some old Halloween trick or treat bags.

Our second, and final, sale of the day was eight minutes away from the first sale and was listed as an estate sale that mentioned old records. The sale was limited to one room that has records, a box of not-so-old Christmas decorations and a few other things. We did find some records that we liked and we brought those home.

With a late start to saling and the mini disaster with the washing machine that morning, we decided to spend the evening relaxing after barbecuing at the house. Of course, with a three day weekend, there were three opportunities to fire up the barbecue...and we did just that! 

After a Sunday mixed with chores, errands and relaxation time, we took a post-barbecue walk around town; something we love to do when the weather is nice. Our town is filled with shops and restaurants, many of which are trendy and expensive. They have to be. The rent in town is very high! 

There are a few places that seem to be immune to the passage of time. This old shoe repair store has been in this spot forever and,..

...this old, rickety-looking plumbing store remains in business despite the odds. We love that this has managed to survive in a world filled with change.

Of course, we don't spend the time in town just looking. We have to stop for Italian Ices on a summer night, don't we?

On Monday (Labor Day), we found a last minute ad placed for a garage sale containing "vintage 60's and 70's items". It was just ten minutes away and we figured that it was worth a look. There wasn't a great deal of things for sale but we did find a couple of books and some old curtains. Our arrival home was delayed by a stop at the market to pick up some fruit for the week and a visit to the cemetery to visit Monica's mom.

Monday was a bit of a lazy day since Rob developed a cold overnight and we were both just a little worn down. Although it would be a short workweek, we still needed to have the energy to get through it.

Oh, we did get a few things over the weekend. Here are our modest finds:

Some baseball books for Rob

Some records

A few more records

Some old curtains

Some drink pamphlets and some old Halloween trick or treat bags

It may have been a modest saling weekend but it was an opportunity to spend more time together and that is always enough to keep the ducks smiling! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

About That Couch

Back in June, we posted about an orange couch that we had been in search of for many years. This was the original post:

When we were kids, orange couches were part of our life.

This is Monica's mom in the early 1960's in front of the orange couch that was in Monica's living room when she was growing up until 1976 when it was replaced. 
This is Rob's grandmother's orange couch as Christmas decorating got started in 1962. Rob's grandmother lived next door to him and he was here every day as was that couch until it was replaced in the 1980's. 

On Wednesday, May 20th, there was an estate sale that pictured the couch that we both wanted so badly. We only discovered the sale a few days before but quickly had vacation days approved and, to make a long story short, we got the orange couch and the matching chair.

It was nearly perfect. It's only flaw was that some of the foam in the cushions was a little hard and brittle. We ordered some new foam, waited the three weeks until it was in stock, and brought it home. After carefully measuring and cutting the foam to size, we replaced the hard foam with brand new thick, comfortable foam and the cushions look and feel perfect!

We have had the furniture in our living room for months but we finally decided to take some pictures and share them with you. 

Two pictures of our new couch in our living room.

And, as we mentioned, it came with a matching chair! 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

East Or West?

Another week passed and another weekend was upon us. We regret always wishing the week would go by quickly but we make up for it by wishing the weekend would last longer than it should. This kind of evens things up, right? The weekend is our favorite part of the week because we have two days off together and, hopefully, lots of saling opportunities. 

Our first task was to go get some blow mold snowpeople Friday night. On Tuesday, Monica spied an offer, on Craigslist,  for free blow mold snowpeople to the first person who responded to the ad. The response to our email was that someone else had responded first and that they said that they would pick them up on Thursday but, if they did not show up, that they would email us. On Thursday night, we received an email that the first respondent was a no show. We quickly told them that we would be there Friday evening at 6 pm and we arrived on time to claim six new members of our Christmas blow mold family. There was a dad and a mom and four snowchildren which represented their family years ago. The kids have all moved out and the mom never cared for the blow molds anyway so they were now ours. They are not all that old but that doesn't matter. They are still great!

We discussed our search of the ads during the week and our efforts resulted in six sales of interest but we would never make all six. Three of them were to our east with the closest being forty minutes away. The other three were to our west and only one of them was less than a thirty minute car ride away. We would have to narrow our list down to three sales and head either eastward or westward but not both. None of the sales seemed to be great but we had a better feeling about the westward sales. Only one of them was on their second day (whereas two of the eastern sales were on Day Two) plus our western adventures would land us close to Monica's childhood house and that would give us some time to visit dad. It was decided. Westward it would be. 

Sale #1 was a privately run sale that was described as "60 years - vintage contents". There were no pictures so we did not know what to expect. There was a garage to search first and we spied three banners hung on the wall of the garage that we really liked so those became our first finds of the day.

The living room had this cool clock that was not exactly our style but it was cool, nonetheless.

The kitchen was cool. It had some great cabinets and a cool, old exhaust fan in the wall. Unfortunately, our search in the house did not result in any other things of interest and we left the sale with just those three banners.

We decided to stop for breakfast before driving the thirty minutes to sale #2. The sale was run by someone we knew thirty years ago who sometimes runs estate sales with her husband. The house was previously occupied by a 100 year old woman and we were anxious to see what was there even though it was the second day of this sale.

Our first stop was in the basement which was huge and required us to use our flashlights to search the darkest corners.

There was a mounted pencil sharpener down there. That is always a good sign! 

This old metal laundry hamper was sitting down there, no doubt once built into the wall of a bathroom. It looked out of place in its current resting place.

The main floor did not have much so we traveled upstairs and found this long hallway with many doors. We were happy that there were ghost girls riding tricycles towards us. Once we knew it was safe, we continued our search.

There was a fourth floor whose only access was via a very steep and narrow staircase. We climbed it and found this old antenna installed INSIDE the house instead of on the roof. We wondered if it provided good reception in its heyday. 

We did not find a lot here but we did find a few things. We left with a great pink bathroom scale, some books and a pair of dresses; one a vintage one for Monica and the other a more recent (1990's) dress for Sharon, our mannequin. Monica felt that Sharon needed more dresses.

Our third and final stop was at a sale run by a tag sale company that we know and were shocked to find that there was still a line at 12:30 in the afternoon! There was nothing about this sale that told us that it would be good but we did see a couple of old Christmas things in the pictures and we figured that it was worth a visit, especially since it was only ten minutes from the second sale.

After a thirty minute wait outside, we finally entered the house. The house was small and the tag sale company was only allowing a few people in at a time, hence the line. We went to the basement first and found this great little kitchen in a room behind the basement bar. It had great cabinets, an old, small stove and old red countertop.

Monica searched behind the bar while Rob took a picture. It looks like we both got into this picture!

We found a few things in the basement and a few more things upstairs where there were some Christmas things. The son of the decedent was also there. He told us the story of the naked plastic doll that was in with the Christmas decorations. He was of Lithuanian heritage and he explained that it was an old Lithuanian tradition to secretly hang this doll on the tree of any couple hoping for a baby. With any luck, a baby would be born to them that year. The son, aside from being Lithuanian, was also of Polish heritage and his wife was of Hungarian and German heritage. These four nationalities, coincidently, is what Monica's heritage is and so she was listening intently to this story. It should be of little surprise that the doll came home with us. We also brought home a record, a few other Christmas decorations, some old Tupperware parfait glasses and a few other things.

We concluded our day of saling by visiting Monica's dad and then coming home to relax, barbecue and then relax some more. We had lots of chores and errands to do on Sunday and we managed to find time to get them all done and to barbecue too. 

Here are some things that we found last weekend:

Our free blow mold snowpeople

A record

Some books

An old starburst doorknob backer and a vintage safety pin...with a duck!

A vintage dress for Monica...with clouds

A dress for Sharon, our mannequin, with dragonflies, koala bears and more. She will be the envy of all the neighborhood mannequins with this dress! 

Vintage Tupperware parfait glasses

Pennants from the 1950's

A vintage Detecto pink bathroom scale, Aside from a little dirt which we can easily, this is in mint condition! On a scale of one to ten, how much do we love this. Ten! 

 The Lithuanian "fertility" Christmas doll

Some Christmas things

It was a great weekend filled with lots of fun!

Our garden is still going strong. The morning glories have expanded all over the place, so much so that we can't even weed around them without harming them.

Their reach has even extended to the garden flamingos!

And Sharon got a new dress which she will try on as soon as she gets tired of her summer outfit. Everyone here seems happy nowadays about our adventures amongst the ducks.