Wednesday, May 28, 2008


so would you care to vote for what you consider the most devastating of this weeks 'Trials and Tribulations' in My world?
  1. ...Breaking, or rather 'Smashing into little pieces' one of my favorite old concrete garden buddies while trying to give it a fresh coat of Summer paint...
  2. The "Are You Pregnant?" question from somebody who sees me at least weekly (a GUY none-the-less)... and NO it wasn't the outfit -( fitted Tshirt and low-rise, straight leg GAP jeans )- NOT even any 'Mushroom/Muffin top' happening! (you know... "...extra back fat and shit that forms a muffin-top like effect surrounding the jeans.") ~OR~
  3. "Oh yeh, I've seen those things crochet from grocery bags - my grandmother did that in Sr. Citizens." See BAG LADY TOTE entry.



We put the finishing touches on the porch over the weekend, and it has been christened with the first beer (Saranac Pale Ale), and the first 'meal'. MY favorite meal at that... BREAKFAST! Homemade french toast with Fresh Upstate NY Maple Syrup (a colleague of DH's makes it) and fresh bacon (another colleague of DH's raises cows & pigs - we just got our yearly 1/4 pig!). Sorry - I know that probably turns some of your stomachs, but I like knowing how the meat we do eat is raised and that there are no chemicals used - and it is so!...So!!... SO!!! MUCH BETTER than junk from the supermarket!! ( You'd never guess from reading this that DH works with a bunch of Engineering Geeks would you?!! ) We have an ever-evolving 'warm weather/seaside' theme to our porch, which tends to vary from SouthWest Sandy Desert to Rocky Coastal Maine to Tropical Bahamas. Looking at our porch this summer, it kind of looks like some bizarro version of JIMMY BUFFET and Old CAPE COD!! Go figure.

Maine Lobster trap buoy and cactus greet you...

The 'coconut heads' are all snuggled amongst the Wisteria..
the beachy table, Haeger, wicker and a 'crawdaddy'...
Cancun sand dollar encrusted 'pot-o-seeds' and more cactus...
'Jingle shells' from The Cape, dangling from a piece of driftwood from Lake Ontario to make a most relaxing 'chime' - accompanied by a pottery 'sun' from the islands...
It must be 'all good'... even the neighborhood cat, Mia, seems to approve!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


ANOTHER confetti Bowl - still not the one I REALLY want, but I am getting closer!!
Bennington Trigger Mug - I LOVE BENNINGTON, and though this is not my pattern (I have green/black splatter), I couldn't leave it all lonely on the shelf!

Friday was an EBOR day, if ever there was one! A day of major Highs and major Lows.

I decided to spend the $$ on gas and go on an adventure. It was a sunny day, none too warm, but sun never the less - and an upscale area an hour away was having their town wide sales.

I left my house at 8am, but never got to 'the town' until 1pm !! I HAD to stop at the 'usual haunts' along the way, and numerous 'Yard Sale' signs blocked my path enroute!! That's okay because I wasn't on a schedule. I wasn't on a mission. It was a 'journey'!

At one of my 'usual haunts' I heard the (M)anager talking to an older gentleman about 'Wanda's death'. I had to be rude and ask her "Was Wanda the older, black woman who worked the register?" as I hadn't seen her there recently. I never knew her name, but that she LOVED HOT PEPPERS!! As does DH, and we have Jalapeno, and Habanero and half a dozen other kinds tucked into any free inch of garden that he can find - so I would take her in a basket of them at the end of Summer. This thrift is kind of out of the way, so I don't get there in the Winter,- and generally only a few times in the Summer. Last Summer she wasn't working the day I tried to drop off her Peppers. I didn't ask about her, because I didn't know her name. Here is the conversation that followed:
(M): "No, that's Trudi. Wanda was the VERY thin woman with the big hair. But Trudi Died too."
(S): "Oh, I'm sorry..."
(M): "Trudi died Dec. 8, 2006 and Wanda died last week..."

Isn't it amazing, 'The cast of characters' in our Daily lives? People who's names we don't even know - but have an impact on us? It kind of scares me how many people could just 'disappear' from my life, without me ever knowing what became of them, or maybe even realizing they were gone!! It is said that people enter and exit our lives for a reason...

The rest of the days was Ultra-Relaxing with FANTASTIC Finds...

A pair of TACKY FISH to add to my hall-wall collection!! YIPPEE, I hadn't found any of these in a long time (.75¢pr.)

Several vintage/retro tops & dresses (.25¢ each) , a box of vintage ornaments and an ORANGE ornament!! Do you have any idea how hard 'Orange' ornaments are to find?!! At Xmas, I have an aluminum tree on our Dining Rm table that I have been 'trying' to do in Dark Purple - Orange - Lime/Grinch Green. Not your typical Xmas palette, thus NOT easy to find ornaments!!

A few goodies for resale...


The theme for the day seemed to be Seaside

Back in the 'Days of Yore' (late 80's / post college), one of 'the Crew' (L) moved to Maine. The rest of 'The Crew' would invade upon Maine for Memorial Day weekend. A 'Girls Weekend' of Sales, seaglass hunting, eating and drinking!!! This went on for about 10yrs., then (L) moved back to Central NY. We are GLAD to have her back, but boy do we crave Maine & The Coast on Memorial Day!! So I had to grab the Lobster S/P shakers, Maine/NY/Seaside vintage metal trays and the CapeCod cookbook (complete with Quahog recipes!).

Hope you all have a Wonderful Weekend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

...'Bag Lady Tote'

Being of the 'Monkey See, Monkey Do' mentality...
I saw a write up of this and HAD to try it!

First of all... let's set the record straight - I am NOT a 'crafter'. I enjoy 'useful projects', but 'foo-foo' stuff is NOT Me. I only know the basic crochet stitch taught to me by my 'ever-a-crochet hook-in-the-hand' Grandmother. I was given my first skein of Pink yarn and my blue plastic crochet hook when I was 3 or 4. Taught the proper way to hold the yarn, the hook, keep the tension the same, through two, through two, one... I had a 'special drawer at Grandma/Grandpa's where 'my stuff' lived - including that Pink yarn and hook. For eight +/- years I don't know how many times that skein/ball of Pink yarn was crochet, pulled out, rewound, crochet, pulled out, rewound,... No it didn't bother me to 'undo' all of my hardwork - I think I enjoyed that part more than the actual crochetting 8-). I still have that pink ball of yarn and the hook...

Anyways, My LOVE of 'Tote Bags' has gotten me in over my head on this one!! I 'need' a LARGE oversized 'Bag Lady' tote to take packages to the Post Office, so.... I am actually attempting my first 'non-pulled out project'!! Let's just say, it is going to take Hundreds and Hundreds of Dollar General bags (yes, I chose to do an overall yellow/black tweed effect bag) to complete ((sigh.)) I don't know how to read patterns & I only know the one stitch - so I am completely winging it - I'm letting my requirement specifications, intuition, engineering background and my Interior Design degree guide me.

Currently, I have got the bottom done ( about 10" x 30") and am about 6" up the sides. I'm thinking the sides should be about 24" high. The 'strap' design has been running around in my head. I think that it needs to be a 'wrap - around' type that supports the whole bag (loops under bag and up sides) - and of course it needs to be long enough to slip over my shoulder !! This is sounding like a WHOLE LOT of bags!! I may have to incorporate a couple of wide stripes of other colors to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my 'yellow tweed'!!

Started... 5-11-08
making 'plarn' as I go...

Wish me luck!!


... while browsing the morning's classified to see what 'sales' may be beckoning me this weekend, this ad caught my eye - and I HAD to pass it on !!

"Items of experience (nothing needs breaking in it has already been done for you!)!"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

... The THREE 'F's

Family ... Fun ... Food!

This is an overdue post, but I can't let Mother's Day 2008 pass without a 'nod'!

Last Saturday, at sunrise (6am), I embarked on a day trip (100 mile journey each way) to my hometown, for 'MOM's Day'. My Mom will be 75 this Fall, and thus there isn't a whole lot she 'needs' or has room for (yes, I inherited several 'pack rat' genes from her!!) . For Mom's Day the last couple of years we have enjoyed a whole day of just 'us' on Saturday (NOT on 'THE' Day - I can't take her away from her other offspring!!). Of course she gets a few 'wrapped' goodies from DH & I (yes. mostly thrifted!), and lunch at a spot of her choice - the rest of the day is completely spontaneous!

This year, the weather cooperated Beautifully! Sunny and 70deg . I arrived about 8:30am. Visited with Dad, checked the garage sale ads, and we were off...

The finds were PLENTIFUL!! Wicker rocker, vintage quilt (ANOTHER!) , some old luggage (at 25¢ ea. I couldn't pass them by!)...

Eleven (11!) blow molds dated in the 60's and 70's (DON'T be SILLY - they ARE for resale!)...

A couple of APRIL CORNELL dresses - NOT my taste, but I have heard they resell well...

and NUMEROUS odds-ends (YES - even a VERA!)

A stop for nourishment at a new Tex BBQ that just opened - GREAT!!

More sales - Can you believe I got ALL of the goodies shown - PLUS MORE for $11 total?!?! Then a stop to a local farm market that was having a Quilt Show. I picked up an Astilbe plant that I had been searching for, ~AND~ they have a soft ice cream window... so Dessert time!!!

To justify the ice-cream, we went for a walk on the beach and did a little sea glass hunting - Serious score on the dark blue that day!!

Finished off the day with stops by each of my brother's houses to say 'HI' and a trip to my Parent's pond to feed the goldfish! Does it get much better?!

279 miles, and 14 hours later - back at my house - ready to fall into bed!...

Is it 'legal' for someone who IS NOT a 'Mom' to enjoy the day so much?!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

...what's better than a cuppa joe & wisteria?

...opening SURPRISE Happy Mail while surrounded by Wisteria!! I came home from a long day of work, to find a sweet box of goodies, just for ME (okay, and some for DH too!) at my doorstep!! It was all I could do to find my camera before I dug into it!
The WONDERFUL Miss Shara of Monkeybox came through in her usual bountiful fashion! I'm not posting photos of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g or this would be the longest post ever.... But here's some of the highlights:
Additions to my quest for those 'cheesy' metal Remembrance type ornaments (to fill an aluminum tree at Christmas)... For a more detailed explanation, you can check out #2 of this post.
A promotional Haeger Ashtray AND a Sweater Clip - does it get much better than this?!?!
...and a small, blue LEO WARD bird to join my other Ward bluebird that I recently found. Doesn't he look right at home, nesting in one of my old glass salt dishes on the window sill, amongst his 'big brother' and a clear Corning Glass Goose (door prize at a glass blowing demonstration)!!


"Sex And The City movie which has its world premiere in London tomorrow."
... and the countdown begins!

Can anybody out there possibly begin to explain WHY I AM so looking forward to this? It is such STUPID MIND MOOSH - that I love!! I never had HBO when the series first came out, I didn't get hooked until it went into reruns... but, thanks to the DVR, I have watched from start to finish at least 2 or 3 times!! (NOT all at once, just individual episodes!).

This is SO unlike me!! I'm NOT into TV. I'm NOT into Soaps. I'm NOT into Fashion, or glamour, or, or, or... Am I just escaping my calm, normal, contented and happy, 'stuff' existence and living vicariously through them??? Oh, too much introspect - I need a STUFF FIX!!

NOBODY that I know was/is into the show... so it looks like I'll have to 'Jet Set' to London on my own for tomorrow's premiere!!! Anyone out there care to join me?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

...potpourri of seeds and smells!

Sunshine, hitting the herb bed just right this morning, as I had my cuppa joe on the back porch while smelling....
Introducing... my herb bed. My little corner of COMPLETE whimsy. The large 'bush' the flamingo is hiding behind is a Mulberry. The herb bed isn't fully 'decked' out yet... I still need to put the bird bath basin on top of the concrete base that you see, and I'm not done giving it the first (of many) thorough weedings, and, and, and... !!Yes, the border IS wine bottles 'planted' upside down (also in need of their Spring straightening). The 'new' flamingo has made himself right at home...


Aren't they gorgeous?!?
This is the West end of our porch - started from a little seedling 10+ years ago. I fell in love with Wisteria many years ago while visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden - and HAD TO HAVE some. This is the Perfect local, as the neighbors driveway is only about 15' away, and we wanted some privacy. It completely covers that end of the porch when the leaves all come out, and when the porch door is open in the Spring - the aroma fills the house!!
We had a plumber coming today to make our outdoor faucet operable, so I was needed 'on premise' . PERFECT day to clean up some flower beds, and just spend productive time out of doors!
For some reason, I always seem to end up with a never ending bag of seed packets. Garage sales, garden catalog freebies, wedding reception favors, gathered from the roadside while out adventuring... I was recently reading an article about the shelf life of seeds, and found that it's not very long (at least the way I've stored them it's not!). Well, you can't just put them in the garbage can!! I gathered some of my large thrifted pots, partial bags of soil and pots of 'dearly departed greenies' with good 'dirt'; and the Bag-O-Seeds... and set out on a mission!! I decided ALL of the seeds were going to be sown in these pots - just kind of a Potpourri. No labels. No design. IF things should grow, and IF they become too large (thems some Big 'IFS'!!) - they will just be transplanted. I never have very good luck with seeds... it is what it is. In fact if you look over to the right of the photo, you will see the seeds that I started about a month ago. The pathetic little things! I've just started bringing them outside for a few hours each day to harden them off. They aren't the most robust of things that I've ever seen, but I'm NOT giving up on them!!

Larger photo of my earlier attempt at seeds........

...and I added something else to my gardens today..... suggested...

...the Summer Squash birdbath found a new home... (Sorry about the 'grid' on the photo - I took the photo from inside looking out through the screen!)

Now, there is a nice gentle rain outside... with a rumble of thunder in the far distance. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

...Happy ...Happy!

...and with that said 8-)... I must now climb back on my soap box for a quick moment
First, I would like to thank APRON THRIFT GIRL for bringing a new term/idealogy to my attention... FREEGAN. As the term was new to me, I did some digging... I am really interested and open to anybody else's opinions on this 'way of life'. I keep hearing my Mother's favorite saying rattling around in my head...'Everything in moderation'. I like the ideas behind what they are doing, but I think that they have gone to an extreme - way past 'moderation'. Keep in mind that I am considered the 'tree hugger' in our family, ~BUT~ for these people to condemn 'the checkout clerk at the meat counter' and 'the factory workers at the refrigeration plant' and feel that people's personal property, just because it isn't inhabited should be 'free game'... doesn't sit well with me. Sure these people are conserving on their use of certain things (ie: fuel by 'hitchhiking') - but they ARE still using it... still using products of refrigeration, still wearing clothes made in sweatshops, still using 'imports'! They may not be purchasing them, but they ARE USING THEM! Reminds me of the person who has 'Quit Smoking.' They are not buying any more cigarettes (because the quit.), but they continue to bum them off of others 'who smoke'.
What is the 'marketable term' for the lifestyle defined as 'reducing ones footprint' - period.??
^^^getting down off my soapbox ~ thanks for letting me vent!^^^

Saturday, May 3, 2008


By now, I'm sure many of you are aware of my belief in 'for every action there is an Equal But Opposite Reaction'. Well once again, it has played itself out.

This week has been one of those weeks... favorite old pair of Levis 505's finally met their demise (and I was so sure when I put them on in the morning that those two worn spots at the top edge of the back pockets had enough fabric left between them that they wouldn't 'become one'... WRONG... thank goodness for my long shirt!!). Then another day in a fit of 'stuff disgust', my worn-to-death old Bass Docksiders (boat shoes of the... er... umm... 80's?!) were disposed of. (Relax 'Shoe Police'... I hadn't worn them since the early 90's!!) Quite an accomplishment for me - for both items!!

Well Friday and Saturday I got my rewards!

A few 'USEFUL GOODS' which of course included an unused Yankee Candle and a couple of bottles of Bath and Body had sanitizer - can never have enough of that stuff when saling!!

  • an unopened Eddie Bauer pedometer ($1.00 - part of Mom's Day!)
  • Eddie Bauer change purse (.50¢)
  • New Travelon bag ($1.00)
  • Yankee Candle (.50¢)
  • Bath & Body hand sanitizers - New! (.25¢ ea)
  • Needle Nose Pliers - can never have enough! (.25¢)
  • Craftsman 'stripped screw remover kit' (.10¢)

... a few 'Not-so-useful, but gotta have' stuff for Me... If any of you are wondering the 'why??' of the Infant of Prague statue - NO, I'm not 'religious' (quite the opposite) - but I got Very curious about them a couple of years ago after flipping through one of Mary Randolph C_ _ _ _ _'s books, and did some research. Now I just think they are fun, and have a shelf of them (along with rosaries, buddahs and other 'intriguing' curiousities) in my studio/attic!

  • 1969 Flowers (Look familiar to my MAY DAY post?!) (.50¢)
  • Yellow Haeger pot (.50¢)
  • Old Decorative Crisco tin - similar to one I found a while back, but reverse colors (.25¢)
  • Mini Infant of Prague (.10¢)
  • Some 'bling' - shoe clip and shell bracelet (.25¢ ea)
  • A Watch Fob for Dad's collection ($1.00)
...And a few items with resale potential (I make this bad habit support itself!!).
  • Spaghetti Santa Planter (.15¢)
  • A few old cookbooks (.25¢ ea)
  • A couple of Pyrex mugs (.25¢ea.)
  • Mackie Scarf ($1.99)
  • Bag of old advertising / hotel silverplate ($1.50)
  • Matte finish piece of Nippon that I MUST research (free pile by curb)

~BUT~ this is what I'm hoping is a true score...

Yesterday, on a quick run through the S.A., I saw this blanket/quilt with odd shades of turquoise and green mixed together. Normally I don't 'do' quilts (for resale), 'cause I'm completely clueless on them. I LIKED the colors on this one, and I thought it looked like it might be fun for laying out on the beach...

When I opened it up, I found it to be a single bed size, done in what I think is a traditional 'quilt pattern'. I examined the stitches... odd sizes, so I'm assuming 'hand sewn'. Some light soiling, but it looks like it should wash out (not sure if I'm going to attempt this!!). No worn areas, rips or tears. $2.99, I decided I'd take a chance, and if all else fails... there is my original plan ;-) . I would love any input that any of you may have!!

That's all. Now I MUST go list some items, so I can clear out some of this STUFF! Oh, and I almost forgot, my first grab this morning was this 'not so little' guy for a buck... DH was NOT amused!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

...KNOCK... ...KNOCK...

((DING)) ((DONG))












for those not familiar with this tradition: