Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fruitful Day & Fruitful Finds

What a beautiful day.  It was a bit chilly when I woke up, but soon the day turned to nothing but sunshine & warmer weather. 

My daughter, Morgan & I try every year to drive over to South Bend, Indiana for the Washington Street Sales.  We live about 22 miles from South Bend & Notre Dame - the fighting Irish.  Washington Street is located in the historic district of South Bend & the street & surrounding ones are filled with old Victorian houses along with the Studebaker Mansion & the Oliver Mansion.  Studebaker made cars & the Oliver's created the Oliver Plow.  The Studebaker Mansion is now a restaurant, while the Oliver Mansion or Copshaholm is a house museum.  The Oliver family left the stone mansion with contents intact to the Historical Society & is one of my favorite places to visit.  All of the contents belonged to the Oliver family, so it is like a step back in time.  Back to the yard sales, which are usually in front of the houses.  Spaces can also be rented, so you never know what will be found.  The museum next to the Oliver House is usually set up selling items that have been donated & can not be used in exhibits.  Everything from glassware, holiday to historical items can be found.  Driving down Washington Street we were disappointed that there was very people set up, but did find a couple of sales & found out the sale was actually last week, but ended early due to rain.  No matter, we found a few things & saw some old friends.

We left Washington Street & headed over to the Century Center where the Junior League was having their annual thrift sale.  I've never been to this event, so it was something new to try & the huge room was transformed into a mini shopping haven. Tables were well marked indicating what items were for sale.  I tried to hit every table, but things were picked over, but did manage to find some red & gold ornaments to match the ones I found on Washington Street.  A couple of Christmas items, a pillow & a small clock.  Most of the items were marked $1.00!  Then we headed off for a quick breakfast, and on our way home stopped at a Goodwill.  It was 50% off day & let me tell you, I now know why I avoid going.  So many people in such small aisles do not make for happy shopping, but I found a Christmas wreath with an adorable snowman.  A Christmas pillow & runner filled out the cart & then it was home via country roads. The leaves have started to turn & it is going to be a good year for color.  Vibrant reds, yellows of various shades, dark purples & browns  make it hard to keep our eyes on the road. So much fall color to enjoy.  It is was a very good day & much needed. 

Maybe you have all seen those wreaths in Pottery Barn.  You know the ones with all the colorful glass balls or ornaments.  Well, my purchase of an extra wreath, the two boxes of balls along with a big box from one of the sales will be turned into one of those very expensive wreaths.  I made one last year & it turned out great.  A glue gun (being very careful as they get very hot), positioning  the balls, then glue. Very easy to have something that looks expensive but very thrifty. Wreath $1.00, glass ornaments $1.00 each box, big box of red ornaments $3.00.  $6.00 for something that will last for several years and much less expensive than the one pictured in the catalog.

The big round blue ball that you see in the picture is actually an old bowling ball that someone cut off the bottom.  These make great garden ornaments & I was happy to have gotten two this morning.  So, if you are out & about & find an old bowling ball, especially one with some good color, grab it & find a place in your garden. I think you will enjoy it. 

 I forgot to mention the wonderful old soap dish with lid.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it & may just decide to keep it. Three pieces that look like transferware in a soft turquoise green. 

I've had a busy day and now it is time for me to pick up some linen, grab my favorite needle & start cross-stitching.  Hope you all had a fruitful day, as I know we did.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Favorite Pumpkin Men

I know, this is slightly ridiculous, but I just love this picture.  Love a man in a barn jacket, denim pants & holding a pumpkin.  Can it get any better?  Brings a smile to my face each time I look at it. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My View from the Hill

Woke up this morning to intense fog surrounding our city block.  I'm always fascinated by how the weather reacts to the changing temperatures.  Dowagiac (just say Doe-wa-jack) where I live is located about 22 miles from Lake Michigan and we seem to be in a direct path of whatever blows across the big lake.  Be it rain, sleet or snow - we get it all.  It warmed up yesterday, so should not be surprised to find "London Fog" this morning.  I always expect Sherlock Holmes to step into the street light, pipe in mouth & magnifying glass in hand.  No such luck.  Just the neighbor backing down their driveway getting ready for another day at work.

Yesterday was the husband's 66th birthday.  We've been married over 30 years, but I've known him since junior high.  The crazy fool was smitten with me way back then, & hopefully after all these years still is.  I wish I could say that he took the day off & just lounged around, but that isn't in his DNA.  He is a working fool & spent the day painting a huge piece of construction equipment that needs to be finished by the end of the month.  Phone calls & facebook messages were left for him, mostly by females, as he is a charmer by nature.  Woman love him & rightly so as he is very handsome, but more importantly he is kind & generous - sometimes to a fault.  He is always there for a friend, neighbor or stranger.  He loves to read, garden & tinker.  He also loves cemeteries & has several photo albums of various places he has visited & the unique monuments he has found.  I always joke that my Friday night dates consist of ending up in some remote cemetery with overgrown weeds & dead flowers.  We don't always agree on everything, but he has been my rock for many years.  For me, I will always remember the blond haired boy on his Schwinn bicycle giving me his ring and asking me to go steady with him.  Pretty sure there are days when he wishes he never made that gesture, but it is what it is.  So Happy Birthday Bill Bobik - the younger man I married & love.   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September Morning

It's morning time & for some reason I seem to be waking up later than usual.  I think it has something to do with the upcoming time change.  But what a beautiful morning it is - the sun is out, the sky is blue with hardly a cloud floating by.  The temps dropped down last night to around 36 degrees & as corny as it sounds, there is a crispness to the air.  Fall in Michigan is beyond beautiful.  When the trees start to change, it is simply breath taking with various colors everywhere.  But with the color change, also comes cooler days & nights.  The plants are starting to die back & there are still tomatoes to harvest, but not as many as in the previous weeks.  More gourds have emerged on long stretching vines & my hope is that they will mature in time for next spring.  I have so many projects lined up - tables that need to be painted, samplers that need to be cross-stitched & a trick to finding that perfect white pumpkin.  Orange pumpkins can be found anywhere, but white pumpkins or lumina are tricky to grow, so when I see them I pounce.  I love the look of the white as well as some of the beige colored ones - heck, I love all of them.  As I drive around the countryside, I am so disappointed that there are no apples.  We live in a rural area where apple, cherry & peach orchards abound, but due to the quirky weather in March the apples were completed wiped out.  I feel badly for the growers as they depend on their crop for survival.  Just goes to show that we should never take anything for granted. 

Yesterday afternoon, a friend who works with my daughter stopped by with several old city directories.  She was intriqued by the stories of Mrs. ReShore & wanted to share some history.  We had a wonderful conversation.  She left the directories for me to read & I look forward to piece together the ReShore Family.  She also let me know that one of our older citizens has a couple of pictures of the ReShore house.  I have a picture of Mrs. ReShore, but none of the house that we have inhabited for the last 30 years, so am excited to get a copy & will hopefully share.  As for now, I'm off for another cup of coffee & begin to start my day.  Happy fall wishes to everyone. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

To Market We Go......

As I mentioned previously, hubby & I have a booth in a re-sale market venue.  Big building with several vendors selling various wares.  We started with a small space to test the waters & were able to get the booth next to ours, so we've expanded.  Just in time, as I finished the small table with the curvy legs.  With several paint suggestions and much appreciated, I was short on time as I needed to get the table into the booth today.  In looking through all my paint cans, I found Martha Stewart's Thunderheart - a slightly darker gray color.  Got the legs painted & decided it wasn't the gray I was looking for, so slapped on a coat of Walnut stain and felt much better about the look.  Is it the best I've done? No, but time was a ticking.  A few goodies from Goodwill & my look is complete or at least will have to be.  The van was full up with bookcases & managed to squeeze the table & accessories & off we went.  The transition of the two booths went smoothly & am feeling good about the way the space looks.  You can actually walk in & through the booth.  We'll see how it works.  Happy weekend to everyone.  I've more projects to work on so more decisions on paint.  That famous green may make a comeback.   

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The ReShore House Sampler

I love to cross stitch.  It is one of my favorite things to do & I've stitched so many samplers that I have lost count.  I always took them to different shows and do to some unforseen circumstance missed one of my favorites, Breckinridge, but was tickled when after the show, my good friend, Karen told me everybody was asking where The Sampler Lady was!  That meant alot to me & I thank everyone who ever purchased a sampler from me & hope they are enjoying it to this day.  I just love to stitch, but I also enjoy what others stitchers are doing.  I think everyone has their own certain style of how they stitch & I love seeing what everyone comes up with.  One of my favorites is a sampler stitched by the above mentioned friend, Karen.  It hangs in my dining room.  I've had it for years & it still one of my all-time favorites.  I very seldom keep a sampler I've stitched.  Once I'm finished with it, I'm ready to move onto the next.  I did stitch one for myself & it also hangs in my dining room.  Going through my many numerous disks - yes, I still am taking pictures with my old Sony Mavica & that is a story in and of itself, but sorting through found a picture of my rendition of The ReShore House.  Unfortunately, I sold it.  When I find time, will stitch another & will definitely find a place for it in this old house.   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Small Table - Paint Project

The small table from Goodwill.  Paint project, but can't decide on a color.  Paint or just freshen up the white?  Decisions, decisions - help!

A Bit Like Alice - I'm Late, I'm late!

I'm still swimming in uncharted waters with this blog.  I promised I would pace myself in when I would blog and not blog.  How much is to much and how much is not enough?  I generally write when things start overflowing in my brain & this for me is a great way to journal my thoughts.  Yesterday, I felt like Alice in Wonderland in that I was late for a very important date - my hair appointment!  I knew I had the appointment, but wasn't sure of the time.  I woke up very, very late indeed - 9:15 a.m. to be exact and that for me is very unusual.  I searched high and low for the new card my hairdresser gave me & finally found it with the appointment of 10:30 a.m.  Whew, enough time for me to shower, dress and drive the 14 miles to Niles.  Made it there 5 minutes late and thankfully there was wasn't another soul in the salon.  Ronda, the owner is such a sweetheart & wasn't as upset as I. 

Haircut completed, I decided to stop at Goodwill.  Yes folks, I shop at Goodwill and am proud of it!  I needed a quick fix & never know what I will find & it was a good day.  Furniture filled the store & if I had brought a truck, would have come home with the back end filled, but had to settle for a couple of small wood plain Jane end tables, which hopefully with a coat of paint will be transferred into something magical.  A couple of years ago, I bought the most adorable desk table with a worn finish.  I was getting ready to do a spring show down in Shisphewana & wanted something "springy". I decided the desk would look great with a coat of spring green paint & I ended up choosing a bright almost lime green (I thought), but ended with something more minty looking.  I was short on time & forged ahead with paint brush in hand.  It turned out okay & looked good in our booth with a pot of bright red geraniums sitting on top.  It didn't sell at the show, but was able to unload it a couple of weeks later.  Here's the quandary - what to do with the leftover paint?  I painted chairs, boards, totes, anything I could find & that darn paint can never dwindled.  I decided I just could not stand to look at that color one more minute & retired it once & for all.  Fast forward to a new year & new spring season & off I go to the paint store, determined to find just the right color green.  The paint Gods have it in for me, as I swear I came home with something just as close as my old can of paint. What does this have to do with the plain Jane tables you ask?  Well, it's time for me to choose a color & God help me I just can't bring myself to paint it green.  Will keep you informed of my progress.  I have so many paint projects and like Alice, never seem to have enough time or was that the rabbit? 

Monday, September 3, 2012

"But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness.  The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head ... The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on."-  Robert Finch 
It was such an unusual summer for these parts of Michigan.  The never ending days of 100 plus temps took a toll on much of hubby's garden.  The cucumbers didn't seem to last long after they were picked and not as plentiful.  Last year, I asked Farmer McGregor to plant some gourds as I do love dried gourds.  I usually had to go and buy them, but found an article on-line about growing them & remarkably it is not that difficult.  We started out last year with just a few seeds & ended up with 8 medium sized gourds.  The trick in growing is having enough space, which fortunately we do.  The next question was how to harvest the plump green gourds?  Again, leave it to the Amish to figure out how to do it in the most simple matter.  Just leave them hanging on the vine until the spring.  And that is what we did and the results were just what I wanted.  I like easy & simple.  This year we added a different variety & I did make a comment somewhere that I was disappointed at the few number & the farmer read it, but like magic, several appeared over night.  The only problem is will there be enough time for them to grow.  We will just have to wait and see what happens. 

I should share that the ReShore House is located next door to my late in-law's house, Mike & Jeri Bobik.  Two of the sweetest people to grace the face of the earth.  My mother-in-law was born in the house that is situated on the property.  When Mike returned home from the war, they began a long married life in the house with Jeri's mother, Grandma Swartz and it is there that they raised a daughter, Penny & son Bill.  I am married to Bill.  Grandpa Swartz always had a big garden out back & am sure helped feed a growing family.  The blackberry bushes he planted are tucked into a corner & though neglected by time were resurrected by the farmer, Bill a couple of years ago.  Last year we had a good crop, but this year they couldn't survive the heat.  Now, when Bill is out in the garden, it is as if he is fulfilling a legacy left many years before by grandpa Fred.  The garden is slowing down.  We still have tomatoes and more tomatoes, a few green peppers & a slew of Jalapeno peppers.  Freshly dug potatoes were on the menu a couple of nights ago.  Rosemary potatoes to be exact.  Scrub the potatoes, slice them or thin quarters, place on baking sheet, add olive oil generously tossing the potatoes so they are all covered, Kosher salt sprinkled along with cracked pepper & rosemary.  I used some dried that I had harvested.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are done.  Listen to me.  I sound like some gourmet cook and that is the farthest thing from the truth.  I really don't enjoy cooking that much.  I love looking and reading cookbooks, but would rather be doing something else besides cooking.  My sister-in-law, Penny Bobik Klett is the gourmet cook and my daughter Morgan thankfully loves to cook.  Penny I believe came by her love of cooking by watching her mother and grandmother.  Morgan also grew up watching Grandma Bo cook fabulous meals every Sunday.  We were so very blessed to have that luxury for so many years.  My very sweet & beautiful sister-in-law also has a blog entitled "Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen".  Stop by and check it out as you won't be disappointed.  Today is Labor Day and I definitely will be laboring.  I'm off to Elkhart to try and fluff the booth at Hart City.  Crossing fingers the Emerald Gem will make it now that is has been repaired.  Enjoy the day as in a way it marks the end of summer.