Monday, February 29, 2016

Anxiously Awaiting Spring

We were approaching the third week of February now. Spring was not that far away but we were getting anxious now. Up until the middle of January, this had been a very mild winter. We have had a few brutally cold days and two significant snowfalls since then but, other than that, the last month has been what you would expect in our neck of the woods. When all is said and done, and when looked at as a whole, the winter will be historically viewed as a warmer than average winter. Still, we're ready for it to end. We're ready for spring. Fewer coats. More daylight. More sales. We're ready.

Our list of sales for Saturday was completed by Friday evening. There were five of them. None looked amazing. None were outdoors (it was still winter when we woke up Saturday morning). Still, five sales were much better than none. We had our fingers crossed. We were hoping for the best!

Sale #1 was in Rob's hometown and was simply listed as an estate sale with records as one of the items listed. On a day where there were no standout sales, this made our list. It wound up being a sale run by the family and the son went to school with Rob's sister. We found some old glasses and a 1960's record case to bring home. It was worth the trip.

Sale #2 was a moving/clean out sale run by a tag sale company that is pretty new to the area. This may only be the second one of their sales that we have attended. "Christmas items" and "old stuff" were part of the description in the ad and that was enough to get this one on our list.

We found this mounted pencil sharpener in the basement; the first we have seen in a few weeks. Hopefully, this was a good sign.

The basement was big and there were enough boxes down there to keep us occupied. We spent more time on this floor than on the other ones and a search of the boxes turned out to be a good use of our time. We left with one record and a few Christmas items. Although our finds here were modest, it was another good stop.

It took us over thirty minutes to get to our third sale. It was listed as Grandma's house and we were hoping Grandma managed to accumulate some great things. The sale was run by a fellow saler who we stood in line behind just a week or two before. Unfortunately, this sale was not worth our trip and we did not find anything here at all.

Sale #4 was run by a tag sale company that we like and has a tag sale approximately twice a month. Although the ad described the sale as "vintage treasures", we did not expect much. First of all, this was the fourth and final day of this sale. It was run on the previous Thursday and Friday as well as on the Friday before our visit here. Secondly, the pictures supporting the ad did not show us anything of interest although we could tell it was an old house. On a day where our choices were slim, this sale made our list. The house was small but there were still a few things to see even after three full days of salers passing through. Before we left, we managed to find one old cast Santa and a pair of ceramic skunks for ourselves.

Our fifth and final sale was in Monica's hometown and the only reason it made the list was that it was a convenient last stop before visiting Monica's dad. There wasn't much inside but we did find two newer Pez dispensers and one book.

With our saling day over, we spent a few hours with Monica's dad before heading home to relax the remainder of our Saturday and then spend Sunday running errands and getting our chores done before starting another workweek. 

Here are the things we found on Saturday:

A record by Yvonne De Carlo who was Lily Munster! 

A Golden Stamp Book from the 1950's

A pair of ceramic skunks (Marked Occupied Japan), a 1960's record holder for 7-inch records and a Lord Of The Rings Pez dispenser.

Some vintage glasses

Christmas things...a pair of old stockings (that we will have to lightly iron), a 1940's cast Santa, an old reindeer and a newer Santa Pez dispenser.

Although it was a modest saling week, it was a fun day spent together and we know what is right around the corner...spring. Warmer days...longer days...lots of sales...and always, lots of time spent together. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Valentine's Day, President's Day And A Three Day Weekend

We look forward to three day weekends. We try to save as many vacation days as possible to create at least one three day weekend each month. Of course, some months have built-in three day weekends. February is one of them. President's Day makes sure of it...for Monica. Rob's job doesn't give him a holiday for President's Day but he has twenty days a year between vacation days and personal days so this seemed as good a day as any to take one of those days. Now, we both had a three day weekend together in February! 

The first thing we celebrated was Valentine's Day. Although it fell on a Sunday, we started our celebration on Friday night. Going out for dinner on Valentine's Day can be a nightmare. The restaurants are usually crowded and the waiters have a tendency to hover over you, trying to get you out as soon as possible so the table can be used for the next dinner goers. We like to celebrate Valentine's Eve but, this year, the weather forecast changed our minds. The forecast was that it would be the coldest night of the year (it was...the temperature dropped to 3 degrees with a wind chill in the minus teens) so we decided that Friday would be the start of our Valentine's celebration.

Of course, we had some Valentine's decorations strewn across the living room since the beginning of the month.

Rob had roses delivered to Monica early Friday evening. 

Then, we went to eat at Doc Lee Lau, one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. It was an easy choice since it was also an opportunity to have a late Chinese New Year celebration too. Doc Lee Lau has been around a long time and also had an old style look to the inside of their restaurant. They recently updated the decor in the dining room (sniff) but the food is just as great as always and they still serve exotic drinks in tiki mugs and volcano bowls. We each got one and shared them with each other.

It was a beautiful night and a great start to our Valentine's Day weekend! 

When Saturday arrived, we had just one thing on our minds...saling. Our list consisted of eight potential sales that we would try our best to make. It would be cold outside but not nearly as cold as the evening would be. We bundled up, got an early start and off we went! 

Sale #1 was a privately run estate sale. There was nothing specific in the description of the sale that grabbed our attention but the pictures of the inside of the house told us it was old and that was enough to put this on the list.

One trip to the basement told us what they did with every old television that stopped working. They stored it in the basement.

Here is another old television we found down there. There wasn't a lot inside this house but we did manage to find some old firecrackers from the 1970's, some old small Pyrex bowls and a few Christmas doodads and they came home with us. 

Sale #2 was one of two sales run by the most active of all tag sale companies in our area. Upon arriving, we encountered the dreaded line. It was very cold but we were bundled and we knew that we could hang on for awhile. It took us almost thirty minutes on line before we moved inside. We hoped that "Grandma's house" was worth the wait.

The basement was the greatest area of interest and we found a table down there with lots of Christmas things. Unfortunately, most were newer but we did find one or two Christmas doodads plus a Thanksgiving Gurley candle upstairs. It probably wasn't worth the wait but we were past that now and were just glad to find something! We were ready for the next stop.

Sale #3 was another privately run estate sale and it was in Rob's hometown. The ad listed collectible liquor bottles, exotic travel souvenirs and vinyl records amongst the stuff for sale. We weren't really sure what we would find but we were curious. As it turns out, there wasn't much to look through but we did not leave empty-handed. A few records, a scarf for Monica and a few other things left with us.

After stopping for lunch at the pizza place that Rob used to frequent in high school, we drove 25 minutes to the next sale on our list which was another sale run by the tag sale company whose sale we visited earlier. There was no line at this one.  

The basement had this really great bar which Rob, thoroughly, searched.

Even better than the basement bar, itself, was this companion piece...a bar lounge area in the basement that made the entertaining area perfect! 

We were glad we made this stop because a walk around the basement made it very worthwhile but we did not find anything to take home from this house. On to the next stop!

Sale #5 was in the same town as the previous stop and was run by another tag sale company we know pretty well. Like most of the day's sales, there was nothing in the ad that told us that we had to be here but the mention of a stair lift told us the occupants may have been older and there were records mentioned in the ad. It was worth a shot. Also like most of the day's sales, there was not a lot there for us. We left with a pair of ceramic Thanksgiving salt and pepper shakers and one small squirrel.

Sale #6 was in the same town as the two sales prior to this and we loved how our saling time was being maximized now. It was run by one of our favorite tag sale companies and we were hoping that "1960's Flair" would be found inside. 

There weren't a lot of rooms to search but this one was definitely worth searching! Lots of books, records and a few Christmas boxes, too! Monica (searching in the back in her green winter coat) almost blended in with the floor. By the time we were done searching, both in this room and the others, we had gathered some Christmas things and some records to take home with us.

It was getting late and we decided that we would not have time to go to the last two stops on our list. We did have time to visit Monica's dad for awhile and then we went home and rested.

On Sunday, we stayed indoors. The temperature remained frigid and we had plenty of things to do around the house. We had already gone out to dinner on Friday to celebrate Valentine's Day but there was absolutely no reason not to add a little Valentine's Day flair to our dinner on Valentine's Day, was there?

So...we had heart-shaped hamburgers! 

Monday was a day off and we decided to spend the day going to thrift shops. We didn't expect to find anything all that great but we were hoping to find Rob some sweaters for work. Some of the local thrift shops were closed for the holiday but enough were open to give us plenty to do. Although we didn't find any sweaters for Rob, we did find a coat for Monica, an old jello mold set and a few other things. 

Here are some of the things we found this weekend:

Some 12-inch records

Some 10-inch records from the House Party series of records

Some books

A pair of old sewing kits and an old ash tray from Roosevelt Raceway

An Easter duck, a pair of small Pyrex bowls, an old googly eyed shot glass and a squirrel (marked Japan) 

An old Jell-O mold kit

A coat for Monica

Thanksgiving things...ceramic salt and pepper shakers (marked Japan) and a Gurley candle.

Some unopened packs of firecrackers from the 1970's. We will set these off on the Fourth Of July but, of course, save the wrappers.

Christmas things

More Christmas things. The ceramic boots are marked Japan

More Christmas things. Each of these are marked Japan except the plastic Santa on the right

It was a three day weekend packed with lots of fun and lots of things to celebrate

We had Valentine's Day!

We had President's Day!

Most of all, we had three days with each other. That, alone, will always give us reason to celebrate...and lots of reasons to smile!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Three Sales...Three Busts

With the first week of February upon us, we're hoping that we're heading towards an end to the winter and a warming trend. December was extremely and mild and January started out the same way. And then, all at once, in the middle of January, winter decided to arrive. We hope it's late arrival doesn't mean that it will be staying late too! The groundhog didn't think it would. All of the groundhogs seemed to agree that winter would end early. Let's hope that they are right! 

On the Friday before the first weekend of February, we were hit with more snow. In the beginning of the week, it looked like it would be insignificant but, as the week went on, the snowfall forecast kept increasing and we were a little worried that we could have another weekend of saling cancelled.

The view of the snow from next door to Rob's job at 7am. It was very early into the storm but it was accumulating quickly.

By midday, the snow ended and everything began melting quickly. The roads were fine after the plows came through. We got about ten inches but the sun made things better.

A few more pictures taken on Rob's drive home from work

Our mailbox at home. It wasn't the dusting that was predicted in the beginning of the week.

With the storm in the past, we were ready for Saturday sales and, although our list was short, we were hoping for the best. And so, when Saturday morning arrived, off we went!

Our first sale was run by one of our favorite tag sale companies. It was the most promising of the three sales and we hoped that the "entire contents", "digger" and "1960's/1970's" were accurate descriptions of the house we were about to enter...after waiting on line.

Our first look inside the house was of this turtle shell. It was nice but we were not in the market for a turtle shell.

The basement had lots of records to look through and we looked through all of them but only found a few of interest to us.

There was clutter throughout the house but it did not quite fit our definition of a "digger". 

The last place we had to look wqs in the garage which did fit the "digger" category but most of what was in it was ruined by mold and by a raccoon that we knew had lived in there by the smell. Our tag sale company host, Ron, did not even look at what was in the back of this garage. He met the raccoon went they were taking pictures of this sale for their ad. It was nice seeing Ron and his crew but we did not find much of interest here. We left with a few records and a few other things.

Sale #2 was an indoor estate sale run by the new owner of the house who just wanted to clear the house of all that was inside. 

The house was in pretty bad shape and the new owner's intent was to completely remodel the house. We are sure this old bathroom will become a casualty of the remodeling effort.

It's a shame that the sink can't be salvaged. It had boomerang counter top.

Our visit within this house was pretty quick. There really wasn't much here. We found one Halloween item to take home. 

Our third, and final stop, was at an estate sale run by a tag sale company and we weren't sure what we would find here. The pictures in the ad showed an older house but there was nothing in the description or the pictures that told us that we would find anything we would like. There wasn't else going on and it was a convenient stop based upon where our other stops were located. 

Many people have tried and failed but we succeeded against all odds...we found the long lost portal to the early 1970's!

There was an old pantry in the basement and a closer look at the counter top revealed that... was boomerang! 

If we were in need of an over door head traction set, we were at the right sale. We passed on this and just about everything else at this sale. We left with one record.

Here are the things we came home with this weekend:

Some records

An old road map and a 1970's Halloween decoration.

Some Old Crow decanter tops for our future bar.

It was a pretty disappointing week for finds which was not surprising. There was not a single mounted pencil sharpener in sight!

We spent Sunday finishing our Christmas undecorating which, admittedly, we started very late this year. We shared some of our Christmas decorations on our January 1, 2016 post. Here are a few more things that we can proudly say are finally packed away:

Everything on the downstairs shadow box

All of these Japanese Christmas things

Santa head pitchers, decanters, etc. We didn't out many of our Santa head mugs this year.

Last year, we tried to put them all out and they were three deep

The contents of our living room shadow box

Lots of Santas

Everything in these small wooden shadow boxes

The small Christmas tree and all that surrounds it

The contents of these shadow boxes

Everything on this corner shelf unit

Our stockings and all that sat upon the fake fireplace

All of our Christmas stockings. We didn't put them all out this year.

All of our Christmas mail bags

Everything that sat upon our bedroom shadow box

Our Mica houses

The Christmas plastic that sat upon Monica's vanity

All of the Christmas ducks (the crocheted Octopus toilet paper roll holder stayed but his Christmas hat was put away. The Manchester United duck stayed too)

Our house was finally de-Christmased and just in time for Valentine's Day...but that is a story for the next post!