Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ringing In 2016

Christmas had past and we were ready to ring in the new year. We had no sales to go to the weekend after Christmas so there we didn't expect any last minute additions to our list of finds in 2015 but then it happened...

Two days before the new year, Monica was driving home from work and passed a house just a few blocks away from our house that caused her to take notice. It was garbage night and she spied a pair of old suitcases and several boxes in front of this house. She turned around and got out of her car to investigate. She found a whole bunch of Christmas things just waiting to be sent to the dump in the morning. They didn't have to go there. No, they didn't. Monica gathered them up and they came home with her.

We went back, later that night, to look again in case there were more things added to the trash pile. There were not but we were happy with what Monica found that afternoon.

Monica's curbside finds...our last finds for 2016. Those two knee hugger elves are in mint condition and are both marked Japan!

New Year's Eve arrived and we both worked abbreviated work days. Monica got home first and put the final touches on our offerings for the New Year's Eve gathering at her sister's house.

We brought grape jelly/chili sauce meatballs. These were amazing! 

We also made deviled eggs which were just as tasty as the meatballs.

We spent New Year's Eve at Monica's sister's house with lots of good food and, even more importantly, family. 

Richard, Lenny and Laurie posing for a picture

Shannon, Valerie and Marissa posing too

Some people were really excited about New Year's Eve right from the start! 

Peter was saving his enthusiasm for midnight

It was a tiring night for some

Others, like Sweetie, could have partied all night! 

We were just happy to be together.

After a lazy New Year's Day, we prepared for our first saling day of 2016. There weren't a lot of sales the weekend after New Year's Day but there were two that we deemed worthy of a visit. It was a short list but it was two weeks since we last went to a sale. We were excited to go and so we did!

The first sale was just one town away from our house and was simply listed as a tag sale. There were no pictures of the sale and no description beyond "tag sale" but it was close and we figured it was worth a shot. As it turned out, it was a true garage sale in that 90% of the items for sale were in the garage. There wasn't much there but we did find an old plastic snowman and they gave it to us for free. That, alone, made the stop worthwhile.

Our second sale was run by a tag sale company that we know and was listed as "full vintage" and "dating back to 1960". The pictures in the ad showed some great vintage board games, a few old Pez dispensers, an old bobblehead baseball player and some Christmas things...some of which were old. We knew that this sale would be crowded. It was the only game in town. It started at 9am but we were in no rush to get there at its start. We knew that there would be a line and that it would have started hours before the opening. It was the first cold weekend of the year and we had no real desire to stand outside in the cold for hours. We arrived at 10am to find a line that was about 25 people deep. We drove right on by and stopped for breakfast, hoping that when we were done, the line would be gone. We would just rummage through what was left with the hope that there would still be plenty of things for us.

When we returned to the sale, 45 minutes later, there was still a line but it was much smaller than it was earlier. This meant a shorter wait to get in but it also meant that more people had been inside, looking through what we may want. We would see.

It was only a ten minute wait before we were inside. Our first move was towards the basement. Most of the best stuff usually awaits us in either the basement or the attic. We made the right choice though it wasn't actually a basement. The steps we chose led down to the garage which seems never to have housed a car. It was a storage area that looked like a small basement. And, in that garage, were boxes of Christmas things. Flashlights (well, the flashlight cell phone app) in hand, we searched through every box. There was evidence that we weren't the only ones to look in the boxes but it looked as if not much, if anything, had been removed. We arrived on time! We left that room with two bags of stuff and still had the remainder of the house to search. 

The kitchen had some of its original elements left. The wall and exhaust fan behind the stove were cool! 

There were some old dolls in one room, Some of them were very creepy! 

We searched every room and very closet. We saw very few vintage board games and we never saw those old Pez dispensers or the old bobblehead baseball player that were in the ad. Those went out the door before we arrived. We did, however, find the old Christmas things as well as some other holiday decorations, an old plastic clown bank and a few other things. It was the first great sale of the year. 

Here is what we brought home with us this day:

A Prehistoric Animals book from 1964 and a vintage Valentine's Day card

A hat for Monica. Yes, that's the hat Monica was wearing in the closet. It came home with us.

An old plastic bird, a ballerina cake topper and an old metal MacGregor umpire's counter 

An old plastic clown bank, an old glass Tang container and an old tiki mug made by Orchids of Hawaii

A pair of old plastic Halloween decorations

A pair of die cut St. Patrick's Day decorations

Some old honeycomb holiday decorations

Lots of small old Christmas decorations

An old holiday mailbag and a small old Christmas stocking

Plastic reindeer, a small mica house (made in Germany), a large mica house (made in Japan) and a pair of Christmas dream pets, a Christmas donkey and a Christmas squirrel (both with Japan tags)

Some odd Christmas decorations...plastic animals, a baby ornament (marked Japan), a pair of snowmen and a pair of plastic Snoopys (late 1960's/early 1970's)

A ceramic Santa, Mrs, Claus and some Noel angels in the front. A glass Christmas jar with a Styrofoam Santa head in the back. All of the ceramic pieces are marked Japan. Some of the Noel angels need a little touch up paint.

An old plastic snowman and several old plastic Santas in the back. Some small Christmas figures and a ceramic deer in the front. All of the pieces in the front are marked Japan. 

A large blow up doll from the 1970's

Lots of elves! All are marked Japan

A ladder full of elves which lights up when plugged in. 

Here is a close-up of one of the ladder elves

With time to spare, we visited Monica's dad after our saling on Saturday and then spent a pretty lazy Saturday night and Sunday at home. It was a fast-paced month and it was finally time to breath. 

Our new year began with lots of fun and we hope your new year has had just as great a start. This post marks our 200th post since we began this blog three years ago. We thank for reading our blog and sharing our adventures amongst the ducks with us. We look forward to sharing our next 200 posts with you! 

Friday, January 1, 2016


Posting this, today, means we are now officially caught up with our postings!

Christmas was at the end of the week which meant it would be a short week of work and, in all likelihood, a week without sales. That would be okay. We were done with most of our Christmas preparations and it was time to embrace the season! 

We always find a night to just drive around our neighborhood and look at the Christmas decorations. This year was no exception.

 Every spruce tree in this yard became a Christmas tree.

 One of the better decorated houses in the neighborhood...there were lights and blow molds everywhere!

 Santa had his own little room surrounded by carolers

 Santa and his reindeer were there!

 Another greatly decorated house. More is better! 

 A giant plastic Santa head was attached to the tree. It's this kind of thinking that earns a house bonus points in our mind

 This was the best house we saw all night!

 Santa and his reindeer were at this house too! 

 The Christmas squirrel?

Bumble, Yukon Cornelius, Rudolph, Hermey and a delegation from The Island of Misfit Toys were all there.

When Christmas Eve arrived, we went for dinner at Monica's sister's house (we made the lasagna)

Marissa and Peter opening a few Christmas Eve presents

They seem excited! 

Sweetie had the Christmas spirit too!

Then we went to Monica's dad's house for the arrival of Santa, a tradition at her house since she was a little kid. 

Santa and the kids

Santa and dad

Santa and the family

We were ready for Christmas. Our house had been decorated for awhile now. We couldn't put everything out. There was just too much. We knew that before the decorating started. Here are some of our Christmas decorations (more pictures in a later post):

We got this cabinet in 2013 after looking for one like this for years. We filled it with Christmas decorations. Every piece is from the 1950's or 1960's. Every piece is marked Japan.

Napkin holders, a snowman toothpick holder and some other ceramic Christmas items. All marked Japan

A light up Santa head from the 1950's or 1960's

Christmas salt and pepper shakers. All marked Japan.

A small section of the downstairs decorated for Christmas...a Christmas decoration (made in Japan), some Hazel Atlas mugs with elf heads inside (all the elves are marked Japan), a ceramic Santa, sleigh and six reindeer (marked Japan), some cast Christmas figures from the 1940's, some elves atop a vintage radio (marked Japan) and a dream pet reindeer (marked Japan), all atop a vintage Christmas tablecloth. Even the vintage cats have Christmas hats! 

Vintage plastic Santas

More vintage plastic Santas

Vintage plastic snowmen

Vintage tree toppers in a Pyrex bowl

One of our aluminum Christmas trees. We have four but only two are out this year. This is a pom pom aluminum tree. We only used vintage sputnik ornaments on it. A color wheel stands beside it and it is guarded by a 1960's blow mold soldier and by our mannequin, Sharon, who stands here all year. The tree skirt bis marked Japan.

Creepy Santas and a creepy snowman. All are marked Japan.

Knee hugger elves...marked Japan

More knee hugger elves

More knee hugger elves

More knee hugger elves in a sleigh

We try to find space everywhere...even atop this wall hanging

A small aluminum tree (four feet). This tree skirt was made in Japan too

We love reindeer

We love reindeer a lot

We really, really love reindeer! 

A corner shelf in our living room

Christmas Day came and, after we exchanged gifts,  we went to Monica's sister's house for Christmas where we always have a great time with her beautiful family. 

Valerie, Lenny and Laurie. Lenny is seriously bogarting this picture!

We brought traditional English Christmas crackers. Everyone got one,. Everyone wore the crowns inside. We all got a cheesy gift inside. Peter and Marissa read the lame jokes that were inside each cracker. We all laughed a lot! It was all great fun! 

Marissa, having just pulled the first cracker. looks for her gift

It takes two to pop the cracker. Laurie and Richard popping their first one

Monica helped Dad with his cracker. Laurie seems amused. 

Monica seems amused but Dad has this cracker thing under control. 

Monica's cracker had a red crown which she so proudly wears. Monica is having fun and Rob is interested in what gift his cracker holds inside. Laurie is loving all of this!

We had different colored crowns. Rob got a shoe horn. Monica got a mini stapler.

Richard, Laurie, Marissa and Peter posing

Christmas cracker residue everywhere! 

The boys! 

Kiwi was enjoying Christmas]

Peppa was too! 

Dad's buddy!

It was a beautiful Christmas and we know a beautiful new year awaits.

From our house to yours, we hope you had a Merry Christmas and we wish you a very happy new year!