Thursday, September 30, 2010


Many of my craft supplies are kept in units of plastic drawers. When they were moved it seems they were turned over as they were handled. One unit of eight drawers was even sitting in my studio upside down! The result was utter chaos. My drawers of thread looked like this.

After sorting you can see the result. This is only a small bit of the organizing the studio needs. My first effort was to get things out of boxes so there was room to move around. I stuffed everything willy-nilly onto shelves and into cabinets. Now I have to make sense of it all.

In the midst of the chaos, this guy sat quietly, not realizing THE HAND loomed!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tag Sale to Flea Market to Goodwill

After the tag sale in which there were lots of left overs, we decided to try the flea market. The largest flea market in Connecticut is only a few miles from our house. We left home at 6:30 am to sit in line to get into the drive-in where the flea market is held. You pay for a space and you can pay to rent a table. Six hours after the opening hour we packed up - only $30 ahead after the fees.

Goodwill here we come! This is a super nice Goodwill store and they have two lanes for unloading under a canopy. And they help you unload. I decided to take a quick look in the store. Geez, it looked like a regular department store! There were clothes from LL Bean and Coldwater Creek!

In housewares I found this lamp and didn't hesitate an instant. When I learned it was part of the 1/2 price sale I counted my money and realized I had the amount and even a penny extra! Mr. B ambled in at that point and asked if I needed any money but I told him I had it covered. A large, heavy brass lamp for $5!!!

It looks good here . . . . . .

And here.

For now I have left it in the entry. I like having a lamp there so I don't have to keep the chandelier on. I'm in the market for a planter for the plant here perched on the too tiny pot. Saw some nice things at HomeGoods.

Maybe a smaller version of this planter would work.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peaches Anyone?

Mr. B and I were driving down the road when I spotted a sign for a farm stand. "Turn there," I cried as we flew past it. So we turned around and went back and as we were going up a long lane we kept thinking, could the stand be this far off the road? The lane was bordered by a stone wall and tall trees made a tunnel. Suddenly things opened up and there was an orchard full of peach and apples trees. As you can see, the trees were loaded.

The rows were alternating, peach, then apple trees.

And in the barn were lots of vegetables, fruit and these lovely sunflowers. There was no one in sight. It was all on the honor system! You weighed your purchases and put the money in the box. How nice that things can still be done that way!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tag Sale

So I really did it! I made lots of decisions and that "Get Rid of Pile" I posted about (click here to see the photo) made it into my Tag Sale. Here is one of the signs we hung on the main road.

And here is what helped me get ready for the sale!

As you can see by the photo, I really did have a sale. The whole Pile was priced and put out in the driveway with the SIL's help. Mr. B was the cashier, I was the roving salesperson. Problem is, not much of it sold. I priced it low, even the furniture.

This is furniture left over from the store we closed. It is new, pine and is made in Pennsylvania. The corner cupboard was originally priced at $1,350 and in the tag sale at $225. But there was really no interest in the furniture. We did an ad in the paper explaining we had new furniture.

At the end of the day the whole pile moved back into the garage. Tag sales are not my favorite things. I don't mind the getting ready so much, but I hate people offering me 25 cents for my possessions no matter what price they are marked! As Janean of Old Sweetwater Cottage says, it is the bargaining that keeps her from doing sales. She would rather give items to a thrift shop! We really hoped to turn the items into cash to go into a special fund to buy Mr. B a larger TV, a desk and build shelves into the TV room closet to hold the TV.

Our tradition on yard sale day is to treat the "workers" to pizza out of the profits. It keeps morale up! So off we went to Willington Pizza where my SIL and I celebrated the completion of the sale and moving it back into the garage with a beer. I tried some Gorgonzola bread on my daughter's recommendation and it was mighty tasty! The cheese with herbs is on French bread and warmed.

There is a separate pile in the garage of boxes full of small antiques. We have attended an auction and it doesn't seem to be a good time to sell anything. There is another auction coming up Monday that we should attend to judge prices. I just no longer want so many small antiques on display like a copper kettle, an old rolling pin, vegetable choppers, crocks. And baskets! I unpacked at least three boxes of baskets and many of them are quite old.

Believe it or not, I still haven't unpacked all the boxes. More sorting to be done. Thank you all for your words of encouragement!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rockin' with Roy and Neil

As you know, we have just moved in and I am in my third (?) week or is it fourth week, of unpacking and sorting. Things were going into the discard boxes at a rapid rate. Then I had to drag all those boxes back in from the garage (up four steps - oh, my aching back!) and price them for the tag sale. I took a second look and decided to play some of the tapes I was thoughtlessly discarding. Well, I'm telling you, there was good music in those old tapes and I was having fun. I turned the volume to "loud" and got my exercise for the day by dancing. Roy Orbison and Neil Diamond never sounded so good.

Actually Neil Diamond sounded great at the concert I attended. I'd go again in a heartbeat if someone bought me tickets!

Our chadelier had six bulbs burned out. Wouldn't you know I couldn't match the bulbs. They were the chandelier type elongated bulbs. Since none of us liked the chandelier very much, Mr. B had the idea to switch to round bulbs for a more contemporary look.

This is the result. Doesn't it look great? We can all live with the fixture now and spend our money other places.

Next time I'll tell you about the tag sale!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lebanon, Connecticut

Mr. B and I love to explore. He has an excellent sense of direction and I'm a whiz at reading a map, so we just get in the car and go. It is exciting to have new territory to discover.

Only a few miles from us is the lovely, small rural town of Lebanon . There are a number of farms in town. Lebanon is know for its role in the Revolution. Its governor, Jonathan Trumbull, was the only British colonial governor to side with the American patriots. The Council of Safety, which managed the affairs of the Continental Army, met over 1,100 times. Most of the meetings were in Gov. Trumbull's home on the town green.

Lebanon has one of the largest town greens in the nation and it is still used for agricultural purposes as were all town greens originally. The day we were there hay was being raked on the green. There are several museums surrounding the green, including Gov. Trumbull's house. The walking path around the green is well used.

Top left photo is the Congregational Church
Top right is the path around the green
Bottom left must be for joggers going to the path
Bottom right is a stable (yes, a stable!) facing the green

Governor Jonathan Trumbull's House

We plan to go back and visit some of the museums.

Lebanon is going green and recently installed a wind turbine on a tower between two of its schools. It is also buying 40 % of its electric power which is produced by renewable energy sources.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Rash Promise!

After years of my stuff being in the garage while I remodeled a 1,000 sq ft log cabin in Pennsylvania, then in storage units in Virginia while I expanded our 800 sq ft lake house, my "stuff" is now all under one roof here in Connecticut. Granted a lot of that roof is a two car oversized garage which I must empty before the snow flies so the garage can fulfill its purpose of housing cars.

Some of this stuff has been packed in boxes the fourteen years since we left Cooperstown, NY. That house was fantastic! Imagine 4,200 sq ft that I remodeled with great storage. I'm seeing a thread as I write this - Stuff, moving and remodeling. And I'm at it again. I swear this is the last move! Have I said that before?? I'm just too old to do it again!

It's put up or shut up time. After years of, "Where is your ----?" And the answer, "It is in the storage unit with all my other stuff!" Now the Stuff is together and I promised I would thin it out and make it all fit in this house and get rid of what does not fit. Did I really make such a rash promise? Can I hide some of it under the bed??

Jayme at Tales from the Coop Keeper blogged about this very problem of excess stuff which caused me to write this post. I have been struggling with this issue every minute since we moved in here over two weeks ago. I am enjoying seeing all my things. They are like long lost friends not seen for fourteen years. But after the reunion, where do all these things go?? If I managed to stuff them all under my bed, the bed would be up so high it would go through the roof!

This is the "Get Rid of Pile."

I could stock my own library or used furniture store. Certainly I have enough craft supplies to open a store! What is this "Less is More" crap? More is better as long as you have space for it! And there is the rub. My daughter and the son-in-law live in the lower level. I get a shared studio down there. I'm plotting to make that my "under the bed storage" but don't think I can get away with it. They are wise to my strategies and it is more difficult than ever to "hide" my excess stuff.

Will I have to admit defeat and (gasp!) thin out the possessions? A Tag Sale is being considered for next weekend. It will take me all week to price the items. And it is so HARD to let go!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


No, I haven't given up blogging. Just trying to get settled in after our move. Some of the boxes I am unpacking I haven't seen for fourteen years! How can I own so many books and dishes? And craft supplies??

When we dash out to to the store it is wonderful to have things so close at hand! Today I spent thirty dollars on cleaners for - wood, stainless steel, brass & copper, the stainless steel sink and an all purpose cleaner. Lots of scrubbing going on in the kitchen that involves a toothpick for the detail work.

We are having issues with our DSL. At times four of us are using our computers and I keep getting kicked off the internet. Patience is required. I heard Mr. B talking to his computer, "What do you mean you can't find" The son-in-law has nearly a full time job here at home with all our technical requirements. The DVD player is not hooked up yet. The sling box is not working to sling the New England sports to the son in Baltimore. And tonight he set up my new email address with AT&T for Porch Days and my Google Account.

The following pictures are just a teaser for what I will blog about in the coming days. Don't you love the big frog? He is one of several on the Frog Bridge. Yes, he is sitting on a spool of thread. Willimantic, CT is know as "Thread City."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Settling In

It is great to be in the new house! There is so much space I am getting lots of exercise just by walking from one end of the house to the other. My bedroom and the kitchen are on opposite ends so there is lots of back and forth. We rushed to unpack the latest load and get set up before son #1 (child 2) and wife arrived for a visit. The visit was scheduled far in advance but we just barely arrived before they did.

Thank goodness I had gotten the furniture placed and lots of boxes stowed in closets on my last visit in May. And of course the daughter (child 1) and hubby are living here and they have been mowing the lawn and seeing about things.

The house has worked beautifully for us. We seemed to have developed a tradition when anyone visits as we are all trying to get something from the kitchen that someone hollers, "Everyone in the kitchen!" and we all crowd in. The Virginia kitchen was full with two of us but today we tried it here and with six of us in the kitchen there was still space. We will try it at Christmas when there will be nine of us.

Today at one point the daughter was napping in our bed, the daughter-in-law was doing yoga in the living room, Mr. B and son (child 2) were watching TV downstairs, and the son-in-law was making me a Margarita as I sat at the bar downstairs. Absolutely great space!!

The cats are a little less jumpy but we have not let them outside yet.

Pictures to come later. I seem to be having trouble keeping track of where I set my camera down!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Heaven is a TempurPedic

We have arrived and I am blogging from the TempurPedic. Feels pretty good on a tired "behind" that was in the car twelve hours! The cats howled for two hours then every time we hit a bump or stopped. I got over being so angry with them for the merry chase they gave us this morning. Now they are in the garage and everyone ate and drank. Maybe they will forgive us in a few days.

It seemed so difficult this morning. And it was so hot and humid that I was limp by the time the TV, DVD player and the computers were loaded. Oh, and the four cats. Plus so many odds and ends. I put the bread in the container of dry cat food. We were so short of space that there will be many surprises for days to come.

It wasn't until we were eating pizza at 11 PM that I realized it was Friday the 13th!

Here is a photo of the living room. Look at all that glass and the view of the trees. See why I was excited about the house? And our daughter and s.i.l. are happy to have us here. Can you believe the night is cool (and dry) and we have the attic fan on? No A/C!

Thank you all for your good wishes!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

There is a TempurPedic calling my Name

Actually it is a Cloud Supreme and it is going to be wonderful. It was delivered to our bedroom in Connecticut THREE months ago! In the meantime we are in Virginia sleeping on our double guest bed which has two layers of egg crate foam with another three in a strip across the middle where Mr. B says the mattress hurts his hip. That would account for your seeing a hump in the middle of the bed!

Is it any wonder my patience has run out? I missed gardening season. I missed three months! But finally we are getting underway. And Mr. B better not hurt his leg again! The truck is like a van and has no steps to climb up. (His leg injury from the last UHaul took two months to heal.)

The closet is looking empty. There is box with two bottles of Virginia wine for the daughter and S-I-L.

The bag is the last load of books to return to the library. The UHaul box has been used for several other moves and has lots of labels marked out - all the way back to D&D items for the boys who are now 28, 30, & 32. When can I stop using my moving boxes?! Dare I get rid of them this time? Maybe I should take them to the UHaul store and put them in the place where people can pick them up for free.

The house plants are gathered and ready to load.

See the canisters on the kitchen counter? I bought them soon after we married. Any one want to guess how long we've been married from that color scheme?

If I believed in signs I wouldn't make this move. After buying the house in CT nothing has gone smoothly. There was Mr. B's leg injury, and realtor and market problems in VA. Today we drove the UHaul home and the engine light was on. Roadside assistance had to come from an hour and a half away to reset the light because the gas cap had leaked. They only finished a half hour before our loading men showed up. We were worried that we weren't going to be able to load if the truck couldn't be fixed.

The four cats get so upset when they see their crates that we have been giving them a product the vet recommends called "Compose." She says use it instead of sedating them. I read the contents of the product and wondered how it could be effective. So this morning the lawn guys show up and they have a mower, a blower and a weed wacker going at the same time. Two cats streaked out of here so fast we didn't seem them for hours. Only the thunderstorm brought them running for the house. When Paws came inside and saw the cooler he thought it was a cat crate and he freaked out!! He howled to get out and them peed on the floor. So much for Compose!! Then he ran downstairs to the bedroom where I had hidden the cat crates and got under the bed! I moved the crates to the other bedroom and shut Paws in. I didn't think he could handle watching the washer and dryer being moved.

My "magic chair for my back" is on the truck so I am trying to get comfortable on the bed. Lifting boxes was not the smartest thing to do today. Mr. B has served my night time cup of coffee. We have a 10 hour drive tomorrow. How long can four cats howl?

One nice thing. Our loading men are also our carpenters and they have put in many hours working on this house. They said the two hours today was a farewell gift for us! Isn't that sweet?

More in my next post if we survive this!

I'm joining Amanda for her Dishing It! Summer Rewind Party.

The most exciting thing you did this summer. - It is that I am finally moving!

Best New Recipe - No, we are both dieting.

Trips - No, just waiting to move.

Best crafty thing - None, all the craft items were packed and moved in May!

Favorite Book - I read about 10 books a week but the most exciting was my Fire Mountain Gems catalog.

Coolest New Bog - I love Housepeepers.

Favorite bargain - We did buy some sheets for the yet-to-be-slept-in-TempurPedic from Bed
Bath & Beyond and had a 20% off coupon plus a gift certificate.

My Best Post - I liked Beautiful Sunflowers.

What is left on my To-Do-List for the summer? - Get the Connecticut house in order and ready for Christmas. Unpack my Studio. (I'm going to call it My Studio from now on instead of My Craft Room.) Maybe paint the living room. Hopefully empty the garage so we can park cars in it instead of boxes and furniture!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Recycling Flowers, Cars and Everything

Portulaca is Mr. B's favorite flower, so I plant some every summer. Being sure we would be moving in the spring, I only planted a few pots using last year's dirt (recycling). I planted impatience and begonias in the railing planter on the boardwalk. (This is the one the raccoon dug up twice!) And what should come up as a reminder from last summer but one sprig of portulaca. This is the third flower on that stalk. I'm letting the seeds mature and then being sure they fall in the dirt. Maybe we will have an encore next summer.

All the impatience which I have blooming now I carried over the winter. I'm really proud of that. This hanging coral impatience spent the winter in the dining room window where it bloomed profusely. After a trim (all put in water to root) and going back to its hanger on the porch, its blooms are feeding two hummingbirds.

We recycle everything we can. Granted we are limited here to Numbers 1 & 2 on recycling plastic, but we can now recycle cardboard and junk paper. This means a trip every week to the recycling station. Of course, recycling is not mandatory and not likely to be in the foreseeable future in Virginia.

Being believers in recycling, it is only natural that we buy used cars. Worried that our 1995 Toyota Avalon needs to take it easy at 285,000 miles, we bought a young 2008, Kia Rondo with only 34,000 miles. And it is not beige! Hopefully, this car will be a little easier to find in a crowded lot. It doesn't have an antenna to tie a plastic flower to, but has one of those little magic twangers with a button to push that makes the lights blink and the horn honk. That should do the job!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

White Creepy Things

Yes, those little white fizzy things are still on the tree limb. After posting pictures of them a few days ago I had a response from Rebecca of In the Garden telling me they are Longtailed Mealy Bugs. I think she is right and what I am seeing is the nymphs. They have changed since I first saw them. They suck the juices from plants and are great pests in a greenhouse. Outdoors they mostly live on fruit trees.

Since I don't have a greenhouse or any fruit trees, I guess I will just leave them alone.

Rebecca, thanks for the answer. How did you know?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

San Diego and the Ocean

On our trip to San Diego last summer we went to Coronado Island. We didn't stay at the Hotel Coronado but we did enjoy seeing it. The grounds were beautiful and it is directly on the ocean.

The hotel is enormous.

Here is the view of the hotel from the beach. No, that is not me in the bikini.

There were lots of people under colorful umbrellas enjoying the beach .

The ocean looked inviting but it was ice cold!

This is me taking pictures of seaweed.

Isn't the pattern of the seaweed interesting? And the sand was sparkly.

This pelican was wondering around among the people.

Even when he walked near people they ignored him.

I grew up in south Georgia and often went to the ocean at St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. When I married we went to live in Maine and for the first time I saw the ocean frozen. I love the Maine coast and all the rocks which is so different from the flat, sandy Georgia coast. Then we lived for a year in San Juan, Puerto Rico where the ocean was the most beautiful color. I swam in it every afternoon when it became calm. It was so warm! The trip to San Diego was my first view of the Pacific Ocean.