16 November 2010

Why I'm Glad the "Estate" Sale Sucked!!

Yes, you read that right -- the estate sale (and I use that term very, very loosely!) was a total bust. Oh sure, the pictures on Craigslist looked SO promising. Of course, after doing more searching, I see that those are the same pictures this person had on Craigslist back in OCTOBER. So, needless to say, the items in the pictures weren't still at the sale. I did manage to find 4 books from the late 1800s and early 1900s, which I snagged for a $1 a piece. I should've asked the dude running the sale for some reimbursement for the gas I wasted driving up there. I'd never been to that area before, except when I would pass by the exit on my way to western MD or West Virginia and I've always said I wanted to go through there and see what it was like, so I guess I had that chance eh? It's a charming little area and I think it would be most fabulous to live up there -- lots of hills and land and horse farms. So pretty!

After leaving the waste-of-time sale, I switched on the GPS and put in that I wanted to avoid highways and headed back in the general direction of home. I love just getting out on the back roads and seeing what's out there! I ended up in Clarksville, MD but couldn't remember where this cute little store was that I'd passed one other time and googling didn't help either. I tried calling my friend, who coincidentally works in Clarksville but he didn't answer his phone so I headed on through and back towards Baltimore. I knew there was a "thrift shop" at this church in Catonsville and I've been meaning to go so that's what I did. 

It was a cute little "shop" with lots of clothing and some knick-knacks and whatnot. I found a few holiday items, some great vintage tupperware and tons of vintage kid books! Yay! Plus, they were having a special discount that day wherein you pulled out a slip of paper from a bag & got an extra % off of your total. All of my goodies came out to $3.75 with the discount but I gave the lady a $5 and told her to keep the change. It's for the church so I didn't mind giving her the extra money. The church was having a roasted pork dinner that night and the entire building smelled so delicious -- I have no idea how those ladies were able to work in there all morning because after being in there for 20 mins, I was STARVING!! 

I left the church & decided to just drive down the road a little further and see where it would take me. I came up to an intersection and knew I'd been in that vicinity before, only coming from another direction. I remembered that there was this great little park with lots of trails just down the street and that was the next item on my agenda. This park is never busy, which is a plus!! I've been there a few times before and have seen maybe 3 or 4 people there with their doggies walking the trails but I love that it's almost always empty. I parked, grabbed my Vera Bradley backpack which I've converted into a camera bag and set off to take some pictures of the last of the leaves! 

I was the only car in the parking lot except for an employee and they soon left. He did stop me on his way out and told me that the main part of the park was having a celebration for its namesake -- Benjamin Banneker. Mr. Banneker was born a free African American in 1731 and was an astronomer, mathematician, almanac author and farmer, amongst other things. So, this was a little celebration in honor of his birthday. Unfortunately, I spent too much time on the trails and was late to the party so I didn't go. You can read more about Benjamin Banneker here.
The trails were empty, which is how I like them, and since it had been a while since we'd had any rain, they weren't muddy! Yay! I'm going to go back sometime soon and do some geocaching I think. Anyway, it was a great way to spend 45 or so minutes and the colors of the trees were so amazing. The sky was that deep shade of blue that always reminds me of the morning of September 11th -- you know, that deep, dark blue without any clouds in the sky. It was the perfect backdrop to the bright yellow leaves. 

I saw lots of little birdies flying through the woods, heard something that was praying was a squirrel and generally had a pleasant, relaxing time just meandering through the woods. I took the shortest of the trails because I have this thing about being alone in the woods, which probably comes from watching too many episodes of CSI with the ex. I didn't feel comfortable traipsing all through the trails and since it was getting to be 3:00, it was already getting dark in there & I certainly didn't want to be in the woods after dark! 
The rest of my afternoon was spent running various errands and getting ready to go out dancing with my friend. It was a lovely start to the weekend and I'm so glad I spent some time in nature since it's cold and rainy today and I'm sure all of the beautiful leaves will be gone by tomorrow!! So, even though the estate sale was a bust, my day ended up being so wonderful & that's just the reminder I needed -- sometimes the best things in life aren't things that can be bought! 

13 November 2010

A Pictureless Blog Post

Good Saturday Morning my vintagey people! How's the weather where you are? It is another cold & frosty morning here in Maryland. I LOVE THIS WEATHER! It's actually colder now (31°) than when I got up an hour and a half ago! This is great weather though -- cold & crisp & crunchy first thing in the morning and then it warms up to around 60-65° by late afternoon. Perfect fall weather. And it's been nice & dry so no leaky basements. Yay! Did I mention there's still some color on the trees? Yeah, I'm thankful for that. Two years ago, it snowed on 18 November. I'm looking forward to winter and to snow but I really truly hope that we don't get another 5 feet at once this year. Unless of course I have a snowblower to help out because I don't think I can go through that again! Of course, with my current um, situation, I'd gladly accept being snowed in ALONE for a week or two. Now, if the reverse were to happen, I would be absolutely MISERABLE. Ah! But, like I said, there's no snow in the immediate future so I don't have to worry about that yet.

So, as I said before, this is a pictureless post. I'm sorry!! Unfortunately, I have no pictures I can add to this little blog post -- I am sorry to say I still haven't sorted through that big ol suitcase I bought at the estate sale two weeks ago. I did actually open it up and start to go through it but I ran out of time! That's how it always works, right? I mean it's not like I could just open it and not actually read through the letters and cards and before I knew it, I'd been sitting here for 2.5 hours! I think my plan of action is to pull out some big ol manila envelopes and put like items into those -- one for Christmas, Valentines Day, Birthdays, Easter, etc. Then one for letters -- there's a lot of letters! There's also various other pieces of ephemera like a few drivers licenses, business cards, greyhound racing stuff. It's going to be exciting to finally get it sorted but I think it's going to take some time!

So, today I'm heading out for a 28 mile voyage in hopes of snagging some super great deals at this big ol sale that's being promoted as an "estate" sale and claims to have 2 big ol barns PACKED FULL of crap! Yay! The person running this sale cleans out estates and said that most of the stuff has been sitting in storage for 50+ years. There's pictures on Craigslist and it looks promising. So, I'm going to go the the ATM, get a little bit of moohla and then head on over to this sale. Wish me luck -- the ad said something about vintage Christmas and one of the pictures shows a Shiny Brite box (yall know I can spot a Shiny Brite box in a picture full of misc crap!) and the ad said lots of items were $1. Please, God, let the ornaments be $1/box!!

Hope you're having a swell weekend and that you find lots of great vintage goodies whilst out & about today!

09 November 2010

Impromptu Road Trips

As I'm sure you know if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, I love road trips. To me, there's nothing better than getting in the car & just driving. It's so exciting to be on the road with no real plans and no expectations. Unfortunately, gas is still ridiculously expensive (to me anyway) so I don't do this very often. Maybe if I drove a more fuel efficient car, I'd get out there & do more exploring but since I drive a gas hog SUV which only gets 250 miles on a tank ($48 to fill, btw), I'm mostly combining errands these days and trying to limit my gas consumption! 

Anyhow, this past weekend instead of going to the DC Big Flea, I stayed in Baltimore. Well, on Saturday anyway. Sunday, my friend and I woke up sort of late and then headed out for what was supposed to be a day of browsing antique stores up in Havre de Grace. He assured me that he didn't need to use my GPS as we left the Sonic where we'd stopped for lunch. It became quite evident that we were heading the wrong direction to pick up I-695 but the scenery was so nice on this road that we just kept going. 

Eventually, I found part of a Maryland map in the pocket on the back of the seat and I realized we were nearing Westminster, MD, which is a gorgeous little town not far from the Pennsylvania border. We continued our drive into Westminster and then over to Thurmont where we made a quick stop at Catoctin State Park. This park is so beautiful and I can't believe it's so close to me and I've never been there before. It was cold and we weren't dressed for any outdoor activities so we enjoyed the drive through the park and vowed to come back and do some exploring soon! 

After leaving the park, we headed into Hagerstown, MD where we stopped for a caffeine break at the Sheetz gas station. Once we loaded up on junk food & coffee, we made our way down through Sharpsburg and Antietam and into Harpers Ferry, WV. My friend had never been to those parts of the states before so it was nice to see him experience it for the first time. The leaves were just beautiful!! I thought for sure that it was going to be all brown & dead but I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of color still on the trees. 

We visited some of the historic buildings in town and took a walk across the bridge which goes over the Potomac River. Well, we only made it about half way across the bridge because I am terrified of both bridges and heights and was starting to feel a panic attack come on so I quickly turned around and go the hell back on solid ground!! 

Of course with the time change on Sunday morning, it was starting to get dark around 4 so we decided to get back in the car and head towards home. I'm so lucky that I have a friend that really enjoys just getting out and doing things like this. And I'm lucky that I live so close to such beautiful areas that are within an hour or two drive from here. So, I missed the DC Big Flea and all of the holiday goodies but I had an amazing day with someone that really makes me happy and I saw beautiful scenery. I'd say it was a pretty good way to spend the day, wouldn't you?! 

05 November 2010

No Tricks Just Treats

Vintage-y Peeps!! It's November -- can yall believe that? I can't. This year is going so fast!! I had planned on blogging last Saturday so I could show off my fabulous big ol Gurley Jack o Lantern candle I found thrifting a few weeks ago. Sixty measly cents! Alas, I decided around 2 that afternoon that I simply must dress up for Halloween (well, that night actually) and went off in search of a costume! I was a caaaa-ute little Scottish girl and as soon as I get off my lazy you know what and get my cord to my phone, I'll upload a picture of me in my costume. 

Anyhoo, earlier on Saturday I went to a yard sale. It's the first one I've been to all year. Yeah, kind of missed out this spring/summer/fall. Just too much going on in my life to go saling. This one was so fabulous though that I am almost regretful that I got there so late in the day. However, I managed to get some of the most amazing things I've ever found at a yard sale. 

Lookie, a whole box of ephemera to sort thru:

But you know what's better than a box to sort through? Hmm? Lemme tell ya. It's having a whole gigantic suitcase to sort through:

As I was talking with the person having the yard sale, I found out that the majority of the items for sale were from her late aunt & uncle. The aunt had passed away some time back but the uncle had died recently. The lady was telling me about her aunt and how she'd ran a brothel in DC back in the 30s (?) and 40s. She'd been married 3 times and she and her last husband were married for an incredibly long period of time - something like 40 or 50 years if I remember correctly. 

Anyhow, as I was going to check out, I asked her how much she'd take for the smaller box of ephemera and she asked me if I'd looked in the luggage. I told her I'd seen the luggage but didn't look in it. She said "well, there's a ton of this stuff in there. Let's go get it!" so she did just that! I sat on the pavement and started digging through the suitcase and finding tons of things I absolutely had to have. After 15 minutes or so, she came back over and offered to sell me the whole dang thing! Now, I did something I never ever thought I'd do. I paid a princely sum of $50 for the entire suitcase plus the other box of goodies. I almost died having to part with that kind of cash but to me, having the luxury of being able to search through it all in my own time was worth the price. I am not even exaggerating when I say that there are thousands of pieces of memorabilia in this suitcase -- pictures of the aunt and uncle are various jazz clubs in DC, tons and tons of letters written during WW2, hundreds if not a thousand cards from all of the holidays. ACK!! 

Somehow, I've managed to resist the urge to dig in to all of this wonderfulness until now. I've got the entire afternoon and I'm planning on sorting through it all! Like the yard sale lady said "it's kind of neat that you're the first person to go through this stuff in years". I am so excited. Another yard sale patron asked the lady if she wasn't sad to be getting rid of all of this family history and she said she'd had a lot of family members die in recent years and she just couldn't keep it all. She also said she had a ton of boxes in her attic that have more of this stuff, from various other family members. I gave her my card and told her to please contact me when she gets around to sorting through it all. 
I cannot keep all of this stuff, no matter how much I want to so I'm going to go through and keep my absolute favorites and then decided what to do with the rest of it. I think a few pieces will go to the Christmas swap I just signed up for today. I've never done a swap before but I'm really excited to participate in this one. 

So, this weekend is the DC Big Flea and I think I'm going to have to make the 60 mile trek to go check out all of the awesome Christmas goodies. The Baltimore Big Flea 2 weekends ago was kind of a disappointment so I'm hoping there's more vendors & more Christmas goodies in Chantilly! What do you all have planned this weekend??