Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Florida Visit

It was time for the annual family visit from Monica's family in Florida. Once a year, usually in May, Monica's oldest sister comes up for a few days to visit from Florida. This year, it was a few weeks earlier. The size of the Florida contingent varies each year dependent on who can make it. Monica's sister and Monica's oldest niece always make the trip and now that Monica's nieces has kids of her own, they always come, too. It would be a special visit this year for several reasons. First, it would be the first time we would meet her second child, our second great nephew, who was born this past October. Second, it would be the largest group to visit ever! This year, Monica's brother-in law, nephew and Monica's niece's husband also were able to make the trip. They arrived on Thursday and flew back to Florida on Tuesday morning. We were able to spend Friday evening, a majority of Sunday and Monday evening with them and it was a great time! The visits always go way too fast but we are grateful to have them! Pictures to follow below!

We were still going to be able to go to estate sales on Saturday though our list was extremely short. The only sale that looked remotely good was an hour away from home and it really didn't look that good. We decided to pass on it and, instead, take a chance on three local sales that were clearly run by the homeowners (or family members) and had no pictures. We were hoping for a little luck.

Our first sale was listed as a moving sale with a "55 year collection". That sounded promising.

Our trip through the house brought us face to face with a mounted pencil sharpener. That looked like a good sign but, in this case, it wasn't. There was nothing for us and we left without anything to bring home.

Our second sale was in Rob's hometown and was a pretty nondescript sale. The only thing that caught our eye was the phrase "vintage clothes". Upon arrival, it was an outdoor sale with a pod and a garage filled with clothes but none appeared vintage unless you were looking for clothes from the late 1990's. Another bust.

 Since we were in Rob's hometown and since we were hungry, we stopped by Calda Pizza for a couple of slices of pizza. It has been around since 1972 and Rob ate lunch here at least three times a week here throughout high school. It is still under the same ownership and while the decor has changed completely, the pizza is just as great as it always was. The collage, above, is the way it looked when Rob remembers it.

We had one sale to go and we were hoping for the best. In its ad, it listed "mid-century furniture", "1960's games and toys" and "knick-knacks". Fingers crossed.

We loved the handles on this cabinet! 

Look at this living room wall. We had never seen anything like it! 

There was only one floor to search and only a few rooms but we did manage to find a few things. Here is what we found:

A record

An old package of Schlitz coaster

Vintage bowling cocktail stirrers

A metal Bohack trash can. Bohack was a chain of supermarkets which disbanded in 1977. Bohack holds a special place in Monica's heart. While Rob's family went to Bohack a handful of times, Monica's family went every week. This was her family's main supermarket and Monica even went to the store on a field trip when she was in elementary school. Needless to say, this was Monica's favorite find of the day! 

As we mentioned, we were lucky to spend a great majority of the weekend with Monica's family. We were excited. Sweetie was excited too! 

Monica's dad with his two great-grandchildren. It was his first meeting with Jaxon! 

Monica's dad with most of his grandchildren (and grandson-in-law) and his two great-grandchildren

We had a great time and we will miss our two great-nephews very much! We don't have to go to a lot of sales to have a great time. All it takes is spending special moments, like these, together! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter, And Monica's Birthday

Before you read any further, here's a spoiler alert...there were no sales for us this weekend. That's right...no sales. Easter is a Sunday and a lot of tag sale companies took the weekend off. There were some sales on Thursday and Friday but that usually does not do us any good. We work Monday through Friday. We did make this a three day weekend but we chose to take off Monday instead of Friday simply because it was Monica's birthday! 

Our house had been decorated for Easter for a few weeks now. Each holiday season is fairly short and you have to get as much out of the celebration as you can. So, we set up a little Easter here...

...and we set up a little Easter there...

...and here...

...and there! 

Although we didn't have any sales to attend, we did have an open house just one house over. Sometimes, Monica will see an open house near us and we really want to see the inside of the house. We have passed this house a lot and the carport attached to this 1950's house has always intrigued us. Here was our chance to look inside. As a bonus, we got to meet the owner's dog, Creature, who we met on the lawn. He followed us throughout the whole house. Unfortunately, our visit was a major disappointment. Aside from the kitchen cabinets (which needed a lot of work but were salvageable) with its original 1950 handles and a 1950's stove, everything in the house had been changed and not in a good way. The house was trashed inside and every update the owner tried to make was a disaster. Oh well! 

We still had a few things to do to prepare for Easter morning and the first thing was to hard boil the Easter eggs. 

Hours later, once cooled, we were ready to color the eggs.

Our finished Easter eggs! 

We also had to make our lamb cake. We baked the cake on Saturday evening and would decorate it on Sunday.

This is what we we were targeting

This is what we were trying to avoid; our disastrous first effort a few years ago which we, affectionately, named "Lamb, I Am" because it looked like a cross between a lamb and a Dr. Seuss character.

Our 2017 lamb cake! Not too bad! 

On Easter Sunday, Monica was dressed in her Easter best! We found that Easter bonnet at a sale a weeks ago.

At Monica's sister's house, not only do the humans get to enjoy a nice Easter dinner, but the birds get fed, too.

So do the squirrels! 

The lamb cake had double duty on Sunday. It was, of course, Easter dessert but it also served as Monica's pre-birthday cake!

After a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday", Monica blew out her very fancy birthday candle.

Monday arrived and so did Monica's birthday! 

Beautiful roses for the beautiful birthday girl! 

For Monica's birthday dinner (actually, a late afternoon lunch/dinner), we went to Borrelli's, an Italian restaurant which opened in 1955 and is still owned and operated by the same family.

While much of the restaurant has been updated, some things have not. We love the original neon sign.

Two more pictures of the sign

The other side of the building also has its original neon sign

The inside of the restaurant has seen many updates but there are still some original pieces of it that remain like the brick wall.

This is the second dining room. That wall on the far side is also, most likely, original to the restaurant. 

The food was great and why shouldn't it be? It's the original Borrelli's...since 1955! 

We loved our dinner and we will be back at Borrelli's soon! 

Having had her fill of birthday cake the day before, Monica opted for ice cream with a candle for her birthday. After all, Rob wasn't going to sing "Happy Birthday" without a lit candle around! It was a great weekend spent celebrating Easter and Monica's birthday together! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Uncle Bobby

The second weekend arrived and it would be an unplanned long one. On Thursday, March 30th, Monica's Great Uncle Bobby passed away at the age of 87. He lived about 45 minutes to our east and spent his whole life in his hometown. In Monica's childhood, her family would make the long drive (an hour and a half) out east several times a year to visit. In recent years, Uncle Bobby lost the use of his legs but never lost even the smallest piece of his mind and every few weeks, we would spend hours on the phone with him. He was a man with a great sense of humor and a million great stories of his life and of his family. The wake was scheduled for Sunday, April 9th and his funeral planned for the next day. We would spend almost all of both days attending these events that would commemorate his life and the wonderful person he was. More on that later.

During the week, we compiled a list of several sales that we could potentially attend although we knew we would cut the day short so that we could complete some of the chores and errands that we would normally do on Sunday. We knew what our first sale would be. It was about 25 miles to our east and, in our minds, offered the best potential. It had a 10am start so there was no rush to get out of the house too early. It was pretty isolated on the map of possible sales and we knew that we had to start here first or be too far away to backtrack. Getting there early would not get us inside any earlier. There would be a line of dealers at the front because there were plenty of vintage toys and games in the pictures in the ad for the sale. We wouldn't get any of them. Our goal was to look for everything else...and we did.

Sale #1 was run by one of our favorite tag sale companies and was described as a "packed moving sale". There were lots of vintage items in the pictures, several of which were old toys and games which we knew we would not get.

As we suspected, there was a line and this was after the first wave had gone inside. We were #40 on the list but, thankfully, it didn't take very long to get inside at all. We stood on that line for only fifteen minutes.

Now here's something you don't see every day! It's a salesman's sample suitcase for a Niagara Cyclo Massage. It was the demonstration model for a door to door salesman. We did not bring this home with us.

The main floor bathroom was, for the most part, the original yellow bathroom to this house. We knew that the groovy wallpaper was an update, probably in the early 1970's.

There were a couple of these really cool tiles in that bathroom wall. Starburst! 

Most of the rooms we entered were very searchable and time needed to be spent looking through every drawer and every pile of stuff! Monica was very busy! 

Esso Tiger glassware from the 1960's. We have some of these glasses so we did not purchase any of these.

The second bathroom that we discovered also held on to some of its original design. The toilet and sink were original to the house.

If you need any orange clothing, it was in this closet

The kitchen had this great, vintage Nutone intercom/radio. It worked! 

The attic was a whole, new world. It was very cluttered and you had to climb up pull-down steps in order to enter it. There were a limited number of people allowed up at a time but we got our chance.

Our tag sale host, Denise, and Monica mugging for the camera! 

Creepy doll at the bottom of a box in a creep attic alert! 

Yup...this attic needed a lot of digging and we took our time to uncover everything it had to offer!

The basement had a lot of boxes, too, but it didn't take very long to search. Everything down there was, pretty much, out in the open.

This was a great house and we had so much fun searching it. We were inside of it for about two hours. By the time we left, it was with several books, some records, a couple of Christmas items, a crocheted pink poodle, lots of vintage cake toppers, a 1964 official button of The Beatles and several more things. When we walked outside, we walked to a garage sale that, opportunistically, set up across the street. There was nothing at that sale.

It was already early afternoon at this point and we had not eaten yet. We had already missed our usual breakfast break so we stopped for lunch and, after eating, decided to call it a day so we could go home and do what we needed to do before Uncle Bobby's services would begin the next day.

Of course, signs reading "estate sale" with an arrow pointing towards its general location can take us away from our plans and this is exactly what happened on our way home. We decided to go to just one more and try our luck.

It was an old house though there wasn't a lot inside. We left with two cookbooks, a baseball book and a great view of this pink and gray bathroom which had escaped all of the other changes this house had undergone over the years.

Here is what we found on Saturday:

Some 12 inch records

A pair of 7 inch records

Some cookbooks

More cookbooks

Some more cookbooks

Some vintage postcards

Home Improvement and party books

Mad paperbacks from the 1960's

Captain Nice, Dennis the Menace and Miss Peach paperbacks from the 1960's

T.V. spy paperbacks from the 1960's

Some baseball books

A Kresge's envelope, two How And Why books and a Life Magazine featuring Paul McCartney; all from the 1960's

A very ugly tie but...

...it is a Johnny Carson tie

Playing cards, boxes of crayons, an Eastern Airlines card from the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, an old book of matches from Circus Circus in Las Vegas, a cereal giveaway item from the 1950's (still in its package) and n old bird scissor (Monica had this same one as a kid) 

A 1964 official button from The Beatles. Prophetic in a way since you can't call John or George anymore.

Vintage cake toppers and gift tags

Vintage holiday cake toppers

More vintage cake toppers still in their package. It is a two-tiered package (there is another set behind it). Marked Japan

Vintage cocktail umbrellas

Some of the umbrellas are for Sun Ming, a Chinese restaurant that opened in 1966 but was closed and demolished a few years ago.

Others are for Kwong Ming which has been around since 1962 and still exists!

An old Halloween die-cut decoration and an old honeycomb party ball decoration

A ceramic poodle bookend, an old rat fink, an old doll, a Dream Pet donkey (for our Cinco de Mayo parties), an Easter chick and a crocheted pink poodle. Everything except the rat fink and the poodle are marked Japan

Christmas items: an elf pencil from the 1970's and a ceramic set of Christmas jelly and jam jars which their built-in spoons in perfect condition. They are marked Japan.

Sunday and Monday was all about saying goodbye to Uncle Bobby. His wake was on Sunday and his funeral and burial was on Monday.

A great picture from Monica's childhood. Back row: Monica's Nana, Uncle Bob, Monica's Great Grandpa, Monica's mom and Monica's Pop Pop. In the front row are Monica on the left and then her two sisters and brother.

As we left the house on Monday morning to take the drive to Uncle Bob's funeral, a single lone duck sat on the roof next door and quacked at us. We think Uncle Bobby sent a visitor to say hello. We will dearly miss our bi-weekly phone conversations with him (which always lasted upwards of an hour) and we will miss his wonderful stories, his sincere smile and his hearty laugh. He was a great man who will, forever, live in our hearts. Rest in peace, Uncle Bobby!