Monday, January 30, 2023

something for everyone at the antique mall

We have an antique mall less than two miles from our house, but haven't been there in about four years. The place is huge ~ three buildings filled with antiques. You need at least a few hours to wander through the buildings. A snowy day was the perfect time for a visit. Though it turned out that the mall closed early due to the snowstorm, so our visit was cut short.

Wandering around the mall, I noticed more mid-century modern items. This style must be "in" again, which is fine with me ~ I happen to like it, as well as antiques. I think you can successfully mix the two styles, as long as it's not overdone.

I happen to love these groovy lamps, though I don't have anywhere to put them. Besides, I have a white slipcovered cottage-style sofa in my small living room, so these lamps would definitely not fit into my decor. I'm picturing my childhood best friend's basement family room from the 70's...there was red shag carpeting and a black vinyl sofa. These lamps would've been perfect there!

There was a booth filled with vintage clothing...

and pretty glassware and tchotchkes filling a window. So many things to browse!

Another booth was filled with feminine, romantic decor.

For the man cave, an assortment of neon beer signs.

Another part of the mall had tons of collector childhood, figurines, Matchbox cars and records from the 50's - 80's. It's fun looking at all these things that bring back memories from childhood. I still have my plastic dollhouse furniture from the early 70's and I saw a metal dollhouse that was practically identical to the one I used to have that housed the plastic furniture. It was only $10! But what would I do with it and where would I put it? If I had a grandchild, I would've snatched it up for her/him to play with here. 

Love these milk glass plates. Each one had a different design.

This electric coffee pot caught my eye, too. It had a large chip at the spout though.

I was tempted to buy this jar, but the price was too high.

I came home with a couple of items not pictured. One was a birthday gift for a friend and the other a Pyrex bowl. I'll show you the bowl in my next post.

In the meantime, I'm dreaming of warm was -4 here today with the wind chill factor and will be -20 tomorrow morning. 

Have you done any vintage or antique shopping lately?

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

new year's day and new china hutch

Hello, friends and happy 2023!

As Brian and I do every New Year's Day, we took a hike in the nearby State Park. This year was the first time since we could remember, that there hasn't been snow on the ground. It was cold - 31 degrees F - but no breeze. The clean, crisp air actually felt refreshing instead of brutally cold like it had in previous years.

Since the park is closed on New Year's day, we only passed a couple of people near the walk-in entrance. Otherwise, it was like we had the 2200 acres to ourselves.

We ended up hiking 2-1/2 miles. I learned the hard way that I need another layer of clothing underneath my jeans. It took a long time for my thighs to thaw out!

Those of you who have been here awhile know that my large kitchen wall has looked pretty much like this for several years. We bought the skinny hutch when we were newlyweds from a furniture store in Long Grove, IL. It was perfect for our small townhouse.  We paid $400 for it - a lot of money back then. Now I'll be lucky to get $50 for it. When we moved into this house 32+ years ago, the hutch came with us and first was in the living room, then in the kitchen. It was more of a sentimental piece, but it served its purpose. I also liked the vintage three-tiered cart beside the hutch. It held my Dutch ovens, mixing bowls, and my coffee mug tree. However, the past few years I'd been wanting a larger piece of furniture for this wall to replace the cart and the skinny hutch. I wasn't sure exactly "what", but I had a hunch that I'd know the piece I was looking for when I saw it. it is! Right after Christmas, I was browsing FB Marketplace and saw this hutch. The woman had already lowered the price by $50. I messaged her and asked if she'd be will to go down another $50. She said yes, if I picked it up that day! Our kind next-door neighbor helped us move the skinny hutch down into our basement (now I need to try and sell it) and this new one into our kitchen.

The vintage tiered cart went into the basement for now too (don't know if I'm going to keep it to use somewhere else or sell it), so I replaced that with a little painted table and ZZ plant. The wall above the plant remained bare, since I didn't have anything in my basement decor stash that would fit in that space. I was running errands a few days ago and first was going to stop in Hobby Lobby to check out what they had, but then decided to try Goodwill first. I haven't been in a Goodwill in probably two years. I tend to stay out of resale shops for the most part now, since I rarely need anything. I've been more focused on donating to resale shops instead of buying from them. Anyhoo, I found this Paris art print and took the chance of it being the right size and looking good in this space. 

Love the detail on the front of the glass. And whoever painted this cabinet did a great job. The woman I bought the cabinet from said this piece was in her house when she moved in.

There's enough room inside to hold all my cookbooks, Dutch ovens, bowls, recipe boxes (they hold old hand-written family recipes), decor items and teas.

The drawer underneath the cabinet holds my dishtowels, pot holders, and extra kitchen decor items. I want to find some pretty paper to line the drawer and organize it a bit better.

Hope the start to the new year is going well for you. Thanks for reading and for your kind comments.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

new year's eve 2022

This is a first for me, writing a post two days in a row...but I wanted to reflect a bit on 2022. As usual at this time of year, I go through my journal and planner and jot down the important happenings, sad events, and highlights of the year. One hearbreaking thing was losing Monkey in February. We had to let him go due to lymphoma in his nasal cavity that came on suddenly. I still miss my big, fluffy "boo" deeply. My heart aches when I see his photos. I miss running my hand gently through that beautiful floof on his belly.

In March, we lost Brian's father. He was in his upper 80's and in poor health, so his death wasn't a surprise, but naturally, it was still upsetting and sad. And one of my best friends lost both of her parents this year ~ her mom in January and her dad in December. 

Of course, 2022 brought plenty of good things, too...a weekend girlfriend's trip; our front yard got some sorely needed professional landscaping; I was able to trap a stray mama kitty and one of her kittens in my back yard ~ and a friend fostered until they were adopted; I had a fantastic 60th birthday; got to spend quality time with my cousin and her 7-year old daughter who flew in this summer from Tacoma, WA; Tim came home for a visit in October; I discovered a (new-to-me) poet's group in a nearby town. 

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but one of the things I would like to do in 2023 is to take weekend trips and visit Tim in California. We haven't been able to take weekend trips or go to California because of Clementine. With her being in stage 4 kidney disease, she needs constant care and subcutaneous fluids, so we can't leave her alone or even have a cat sitter. We know she'll be crossing the Rainbow Bridge in 2023, but of course, we have no idea when. In fact, we're surprised she's made it through the end of this year. When she was diagnosed with kidney disease over five years ago, the vet said she'd probably live only another 1-1/2 years. Then when she lost a fang this past February and we declined major dental surgery for her, the vet dentist said that her gums would get majorly infected from the tooth loss and that at best, she'd probably only live another three months. She not only never got an infection from losing the fang, but she's still with us. Clem definitely has "nine lives"!

Tonight, New Year's Eve, we will be staying home. I haven't been to a New Year's Eve party in about 15 years and I have no desire to go to one again. Not that any of my friends have parties anymore at our age! ๐Ÿ˜œ A friend invited me and some other girlfriends over for snacks and games and I even declined that invitation. I much prefer to stay safely home in my pajamas, order good food (Thai take-out tonight), have a glass of wine, play some board games, then cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie. Stay up til midnight? Perhaps. I normally go to bed around 11:30 PM, so staying up til midnight would be no big deal. To me, it doesn't hold any appeal and is just another day. How about you?

Thank you for reading my blog in 2022, for your lovely comments, and for your friendship and support. I am thankful for all of you. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

popping in after christmas

A quick hello...

We were supposed to spend Christmas Eve with extended family, but that was cancelled due to a couple of people having Covid. Instead, Brian and I went to my aunt and uncle's house and we had a fun-loving time talking and snacking in the cozy family room next to the fire ~ where Dandy the Pug snuggled up next to Brian. We later moved upstairs to play board games around the dining room table.

On Christmas morning, I made my traditional breakfast casserole and we ate that along with almond kringle from a famous Danish bakery in Racine, WI. (Our local Trader Joe's carries it!) So much sugar and overeating at the holidays; back to our healthy eating as of January 1st.

We opened our gifts to each other and later we video-chatted with Tim and opened gifts that way, too. Would've been a million times better in person, of course, but grateful for this technology.

As always, missing our oldest son, Philip who passed away in 2009. This was our 14th Christmas without him.

How was your Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate in December)?
I know the holidays can be hard and perhaps not happy or joyful ~ for various reasons: Thinking of those loved ones who have passed away, old family hurts, missing out-of-state family or friends...the holidays can dredge up painful hurts. It's OK to acknowledge those feelings, too. Love and blessings to you all.

Hoping to writing an end-of-year post tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Popping in to say hello and wish all of you a happy and blessed Christmas. (Or, if you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or any other holidays, may those be light and love-filled, as well.) 

In my last post, I said I'd show you the Christmas decor in my living room and kitchen. Since I'm late in writing my post and it's only five days 'til Christmas now, I'm sharing just a few photos. I think everyone is probably tired of seeing Christmas decor by now anyway. 

The sweetest present under the tabletop tree, our Clemmie. She is still hanging in there with her kidney disease. She had a vet checkup yesterday and he said Clem still looks like she's doing okay. We'll get the results of her blood tests this week.

We are supposed to be going to my cousin's house on Christmas Eve, but that may be cancelled due to someone having Covid and...we're under a winter storm watch.

Depending on how the storm tracks, we may get quite a bit of snow on Thursday and Friday, but the worst part is supposed to be the 55 mph winds, which will cause white-out conditions.

Then temps are supposed to plummet into the single digits during the day and below zero at night. I like a white Christmas, but not a bitter cold one! And not one where the weather cancels family get-together plans.

If plans for our familynChristmas Eve are cancelled, we'll invite some nearby friends over for appetizers and wine at our house instead.

Christmas Day will just be the two of us. We'll enjoy a peaceful morning with a fire going in the fireplace, my traditional breakfast casserole and an almond kringle, and opening our few gifts to each other. We sure do especially miss our sons this time of year. This will be our 14th Christmas without Philip, and Tim has now been in California for three years.

What are your holiday plans? Will you be gathering with family or friends?
Love and blessings to all.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

my christmas mantel

Minimal and easy is my Christmas decorating motto, and I think it gets moreso that way every year. The less to dig out, fool around with, pack back up, the better. I did have fun decorating my mantel this year though. This turned out to be my favorite part of the Christmas decor.

I had a collection of bottle brush trees, most of them purchased the past couple of years from a local shop, Vintage Art & Findings. Last month I was in Target and spied some inexpensive modern trees that I thought would be an interesting mixture with the bottle brush trees.

I picked up this cute JOY banner at Vintage Art & Findings this year. The felt ball garland I bought years ago at Hobby Lobby.

Added some fairy lights among the trees...

The view at night.

Hope everyone has been staying healthy. Covid, flu and RSV are rampant right now. Brian and I have been sick since right after Thanksgiving, but we're both on the mend. Neither of us had been sick in years, not even a cold, so I guess it was our turn. Thankful for strong, healthy immune systems! 

I'll be back soon to show you my other little bits of decor in the living room and kitchen.

Friday, November 18, 2022

almost thanksgiving already

Hi friends, sorry I've been missing for awhile again. I'm reconsidering the whole blogging thing. Either I just can't get into it and don't feel like writing a post, or life gets too busy. I can understand why a lot of bloggers have given up and just post on Instagram. It's much easier to post snippets of your life there. 

One good thing since I last posted was that our son, Tim was home for a visit at the end of October. We hadn't seen him in a year! One of the things we did was to go to the Art Institute of Chicago. I hadn't been there in many years. What a fabulous museum and exhibits! We spent about four hours there ~ and I'd love to go back and do it all over again.

It is freezing here this weekend. Highs in the 20's during the day and down into the single digits - teens at night. Too early for this nonsense. It'll rebound back into the 30's and 40's next week, so...yay? (I need to be a Snowbird.) 

I'm one of those who don't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I like to celebrate one holiday at a time. I think it's a little strange to be sitting around the table eating turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie with a Christmas tree glowing in the background and Santa staring you in the face. ๐Ÿคท But ~ you do you! Whatever makes you happy. 

So in my house, you will still see fall colors and decor.

I get a teeny bit in the Christmas decorating mood when I go into one of my favorite shops and seeing all the cute decor. 

Almost purchased this cutie (loved the vintage necklace most of all!)...and my friend who was with me was "encouraging" me to buy it. I passed and bought just a couple of smaller, less expensive items. 

My little love, Clementine is still with us. I thought for sure this past Monday that this was going to be her last week with us on earth. She had thrown up several times in the middle of the night, wasn't eating, and had weak back legs. Tuesday she rebounded and she's back to eating, though she's more dehydrated than ever and sleeping more than usual. It's so heartbreaking to see your fur baby decline and know the end is near.

Just a little bit of blog keeping...I've noticed that in the past few months, I've had more "Anonymous" comments than usual. I didn't know why this was happening until I saw a post by my friend, Kris at Junk Chic Cottage about it. It's a little confusing to me; something about third party cookies. (All I understand is cookies.) Kris shared a link to Linda, AKA The Fairy Blogmother's personal blog, where Linda explains how to fix Anonymous comments here. Sooo...if you are an Anonymous commenter, check out the link to see how to fix this.

To those of you in the States, hope your Thanksgiving is filled with love, family and/or friends, and good food ~ all to warm your heart and home.