Sunday, November 23, 2014


Thanksgiving is Thursday. And at my house.
The dining table is in the garage (I got rid of the big white one. like, 4 weeks ago).
and the dining room itself is full of unpriced stuff for the booth.

but I did find a box of china in the  basement that I had forgotten about.
I'm totally using for Thanksgiving.

i was trying to find a pic, but i can't right now.

Miracles happen every day.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A roadtrip to Ferguson...

To escape out of my office and to further my never-ending search for awesome junk, I like to hit a thrift store that's in striking distance of my office. My favorite work thrift store closed a year ago (Unique Thrift Store in St. Ann), leaving my choices very narrow. Valley Industries isn't far. It's a small place, reasonably priced, that supports developmentally disabled adults.

I found a coworker who enjoys an adventure and who doesn't stress if we get back a little late from lunch. And she has an awesome eye and enthusiasm for junk. She was willing to trek out to St. Charles to the St. Vincent DePaul on a semi regular basis. We have adventures in junk. Everybody needs an "adventure in junk" friend.

I found another St. Vincent de Paul store that was within lunch time striking distance. I called up Kathy, because that's her name, and siad "hey, wanna go to a St. Vincent de Paul store on West Florissant?" She said, "sure."

We noticed the signs that said "Ferguson Church of God" and other things "Ferguson" in the title. We wondered if we were in Ferguson.  No protesters. NOt much police. A peaceful place. The St. Vincent De Paul was pretty nice. Quiet. The staff seemed really glad to see us. The Subway sandwich shop was a little awkward. In a way that when you leave, you notice the tension but you can't say exactly what it was.

the Mister and my dad were pretty pissed when they realized where I had been. It was the middle of the day for cripes sakes. Then again, the original incident happened in the afternoon too.

now we know. We were close to the hot zone, not too far removed from the original shooting, not far from the rioting, and not far from the burned out Quick Trip.

I bought a bread machine.

a bread machine from Ferguson during the dark days of the protests.
It works. i love bread machines.

I want to go back, but I've been told that it is really off limits until after the smoke clears. Which could be a few months. It's not Afghanistan people! It's Missouri. Put your guns down and close your mouths.

There are lots of rumors as to when the Darren Brown Grand Jury will render their decision as to whether or not to indict. Basically, any day now. Both sides have made valid points and huge mistakes. There is alot of anger from both sides. Crime, gun violence and the issues that urban decay bring to a community is on the mind of one side, while systematic discrimination and a general anger toward what is viewed as the oppressor seethes from the other. They are sooo closely related that neither side can really give credit without feeling like they are risking their standing in the argument. The fire smolders on.  Just waiting for more fuel, which is coming shortly.

What if justice for Michael Brown is not an indictment of the officer who shot him? Michael Brown was a flawed man. Darren Wilson was not a perfect police officer.
They were both human, tangled up in a mess of their failures. I hope it doesn't destroy the good in Ferguson. I hope it doesn't permanently mark St. Louis as a "not a good place". We are family.

I want to feel safe in my home and I want to feel like it's safe to go to the St. Vincent DePaul, wherever the road leads. even Dellwood.

Because a pic of a cat in wool collar makes the world a better place. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Twin City Days and Loufest...

I'm old. I didn't get tickets for Loufest this year.
I wanted to see Artic Monkeys.
and a few of the other bands were interesting.
i'm not an outkast fan.
and I"m totally over Cake.

The reasons I didn't get tickets:

1. When they had the preseason $50 sale (before any of the line up was released), i tried to get tickets but the website sold out. Ratbastards.

2. Last year: it was hot. You (meaning "I") couldn't buy regular soda there. Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. Whilst I appreciate local products, it was hot, and I wanted a diet coke. You couldn't buy ice cold bottled water either. We were welcome to get water from teh coolish water stations. When it's the midwest and hot, I wanted ice cold water. not coolish water.

3. It's a much larger event than years past. larger crowds. Long lines for food. (and last year there wasn't enough food trucks for the size of the crowd. I was pissed. and thirsty (see number 2).

4. Traumatic event in the johnny on the spot. Life lesson: always check to make sure the seat is up whilst squatting to piss in a johnny on the spot. and have some sort of light source (not too bright. hyou really don't want to see what all is going on in a shitter after the sun goes down, but when the toilet lids are black, you need some light for the "all clear". Ah. new invention: neon lit toilet seats.

Too soon to relieve that experience again.

5. Really, festival shows are not usually the best sets. The sets I want to see are short, and i never get close enough to call "good seats". because I'm too old and don't like to be hot. which means i'm not going to stand in the middle of a group young drunk people doing hippie dances.

Instead of Loufest, The Muscle and I went to Twin City Days in Festus. We missed eh cat fashion show, dammit, but did manage to walk Main Street. The local Porter Paints is doing chalk paint. they gave out free samples. I'm not really feeling it. it's too runny going on, but does dry chalky. He did say that  they have over a 1000 colors. and the prices were mild compared to the other paint companies. I liked that his daughter was getting involved in the family business, running the chalk paint side. she was cute. (in her early 20s). giving classes on friday nights for $50 and they were selling windows to paint. I bought a brush from her. (evidnetly they weren't planning on selling anything at the booth. whoops. good thing i had cash, thank you river city!) I'll probably buy some dark wax from them. I'm running out of Annie Sloan, and I'd like to give Briwax a shot. I also wouldn't mind doing her painting class, but I don't want to pay $50 to have her tell me shit that I already know. but i do like classes...

The crowd at Twin City Days was...unusual. I'll leave it at that.

upcoming shows: john prine.
David Gray
There is another one I can't think of.
A show I shoudl have gone to: Boy and Bear.
Nicole was right. I like them.

We did a booth shuffle and reorganization. We added a china cabinet I painted (and the reason I'm running low on dark wax). I"m still trying to get a feel for dark wax. I  think it looks splotchy. Evidently you are supposed to wipe it on, wipe off the excess, and let it dry for a while before buffing it. if you wipe too much you will wipe it off. and that's what i did. i think.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

the ghost of Kurt Cobain

It's been a trying morning. Which is unfortunate because it's the weekend. after pushing all week to get to today, it kind of sucked this morning. The cats decided to play hard and loud at 4am. for like, 2 hours straight. The Mister kept throwing things at them (which they loved, btw. not an effective way to distract playful cats) and pushing them off the bed (why do they jump up on the bed, wrestle, jump down, then come back again? why, oh why?)

Then the gas company came to replace some sort of device one needs to get gas. I thought it would be an easy one and done. Tis not. it's been all morning and they've been in and out of the basement which got the Mister on one about the stuff in the basement and my collection of chairs that need to be painted. [he doesn't go into the basement much, so when he started griping abuot them in the garage, I moved them to the basement. which worked out for about a year, before the gas man showed up and needed access to the area. The joys of being permanently committed to someone. Oh, and recognized by the state. Because that means he gets an opinion. I think my chair collection is going to end up in the yardsale. (the one that seems to be stuck in the planning  stages to get rid of the overflow of booth junk and generally the stuff one accumulates in life.)

I managed to escape to the gym for "Bodystep". Recently, they changed the music for a new release. They tend to use current songs (I really liked the song from the Great Gatsby. pretty much the only thing I liked about the movie besides the clothes). Low and behold, there was a Nirvana track. a faux Nirvana track. Smells like Teen Spirit. A song I believe Kurt Cobain grew to loathe. (Thank you Courtney Love). Not only was it a terrible rendition, the attempt at giving it a dance beat and making a step routine (kind of dance like) really, really massacred what should be a classic song. Somewhere, Kurt Cobain's ghost is having a hissy fit. (it would be in poor taste to say anything about shooting himself again.) It was everything that the whole 90s grunge movement, Nirvana in partiuclar, was against. Though i wasn't a fan in the 90s (evidently I didn't come into my angst until the 21st century), I am definitely not supportive of this monstrosity of "art".

I'm sorry Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, & Krist Novoselic. I hope they paid you well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Everybody needs a hobby...

I'm a firm believer in hobbies. 
I have a zillion of them. 
I tend to spend blocks of time dedicated to one hobby, then move onto the next, circling around. (probably more like cycling around.) 
I love reading (it's been awhile, but watch out when i find the right book again), baking, walking, painting furniture, junking, pennywool, making cards-just to name a few. There are winter/fall hobbies and some that are better for summer time. 

The Mister doesn't have that many hobbies. He  tolerates the mess mine makes. (Please reference the messed up garage and cabinet full of wool). His hobbies are pulling weeds from the yard and building stuff with leftover fence and boards from pallets he rescued from work. His latest hobby: collecting free bricks from Craigslist. He has a grand plan for the backyard. Moving all the bricks is like an exercise class. Instead of Crossfit-it's Ann's Gardening Fitness. I could charge folks to weed the yard, remove a tree stump (test of power) and move bricks (strength and agility). tonight we traveled to Chesterfield. Where we hit the motherload of bricks. (I thought we did well in Bellleville earlier this summer). I'm pretty sure there is enough for the path around the house as well as the bbq grill/pizza oven. We might even have enough to brick the shed he's also working on. 

In the meantime, I've been trying to keep the booth filled with junk, and make it look interesting to folks. It's not like pin interest, but we have a limited amount of space and vignettes are not always the best use of space. WE're doing okay. Though it takes more time (and space) than i realized. 

I"m painting a shelf for the dining room (for my green glass) and a couple of smaller pieces for the booth. We sell the darnedest things in there. including the corner shelf that i didn't really want anymore, until i moved it from the corner to the outside wall of the booth, next to a bookshelf. It worked. and held way more stuff there than it did back in the corner. And we keep selling the decorative plate hangers. i don't know why. they're cheap to buy anyway, but folks want mine. which aren't even marked cheap because i didn't really want to sell them. lol .

I've been playing with sauces. Wing sauces and bbq sauce. and rubs. now that has been fun. Next on my agenda: no=knead brioche bread. I will post when i try that. It's a 24 hour process. 

and we have a new kitten. Rasputin. Aka "Raspy">
Black cats don't photograph well...he really is cute. 

The Mister's first shot at a hobby.

Neat trick-from an auction. evidently the soda 2 liter holders are easy to get come by.
They fit cans of quart paint.
Also, I bought a couple of jars from the dollar store to mix chalk paint.
they fit perfectly too. I absolutely love this.
if you paint furniture, you need one of these.

Early version of the booth. but now it's fuller than this.
the white shelf on the corner sold. again, i don't know why. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Auction Day!

We moved the booth from Farmington to the General Grant's Antique Mall.
rent is 2x as expensive, but for the first month we've cleared more than we ever did in Farmington.
Actually, items that I wondered why they didn't sell in Farmington have been jumping off the shelf.
now we're at the point that we need to keep adding stuff to the booth.

Enter the auction.
My mom and I have been going to this estate sale auction in Bonne Terre for years.
We've had some really good times at the auction.
(our favorite times have been buying random boxes of junk for a couple of bucks, and taking it home to see what it was that we bought. Kind of like that storage locker show. only smaller.)
Now the auction sells the boxes in larger lots. We don't need a pallet of  boxes. (one day we will get one.)
but we like furniture.
and my mom is obsessed with buying the collectible plates.
Sure, the booth as sold a few of them (turns out that we have priced them super low).
at the auction there is always collectible plates.


She's gotten some good deals.
and it hearkens back to days of the random boxes of junk.
because we usually don't know what plates she bought until we get them home and go through them.
she had a pretty good score a few months ago (pre-wedding) for $20. (and they had awesome plate holders/frames that sell for $20 each without the plates).

Today the auction was much smaller in wares, but larger in the number of bidders.
stuff was going high.
like, Goodwill high.
And this one lady was driving her particularly crazy driving up the prices of items.
My mom said to me, "i'm going up to $50 for the plates. I don't want her to have them."
I knew by the look in her eyes that she meant it.

The plates came up for auction. The Mister and I stood in the back, watching my mom and this lady bid against one another. The price went higher and higher. The Auctioneer said "Do I have $25" whilst pointing to my mom. standing strong, with determination and a nod, my my mom affirmed the bid. Everybody knew that she meant business. It went higher and higher.She did not back down or hesitate.

she bid $45, like it was the first bid ($5, btw), the lady finally gave up. She wasn't paying $50.
It was an epic victory.
She packed up the stuff whilst i went to the building with the auctioneer.
(The Mister also helped pack it all up).
My mom came out and whispered to me, "we quit counting at 29 plates!"
She was excited.

I'm home now, for a few hours.
she just called with the plate breakdown.
Complete set of Gone with the Wind collectors set.
Norman Rockwell.
Winter scenes.

I googled Gone with the Wind collectors and Normal Rockwell.
the Gone with the Wind look to be $60 for the set (maybe a little higher. Depends).
Norman Rockwell-there are some pricier plates.

I on the other hand, got a cast iron muffin pan for $5.
A meat grinder.
Some milk glass door knobs.
and a couple of wood chairs that i'm going to paint. (the one was super comfy.)

no, the auction wasn't as good as normal, but it was fun.
and a totally lovely day.
nothing like some good ole bonding with the mom.

So if you are interested in collectible plates, let me know.
i can hook you up.
 Pre-painted desk

 Booth. With now painted desk and chair added. 

The roses are blooming! The roses are blooming! 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A former bride...

It's over.
The Wedding.
Or, as I've been referring to it "the social event of the season".
It was a whirlwind.
boy am i glad that's over.
it was a good time.
who would have thought that I was the marrying kind?
I don't feel any different. not about him. not about life.
now the Muscle is "The Mister".
He's been my mister for a while.
just not recognized by the State of Missouri.
Now he is.

My advice to any future/planning bride-to-be-types out there-
watch out for Pininterest.
because the pictures and the ideas don't tell you --

  • all the time and effort and planning you put into the table decorations for your "picnic" wedding won't matter if it's a windy day. they will blow off the table. 
    • I have a stack of 42 handmade wool hearts. What to do with them now. The flowers in the silver teapot containers did look lovely. sitting on the ground next to the table so that they don't blow over.
    • PS-most all the other decorations get "scratched" because they won't stand up to the wind either. Good thing the park is pretty. 
  • Telling your aunt that you "trust her to pin interest up the food table" will probably not work out. Though she usually does a fantastic job at catering job, the mere mention of pininterest will make her eye twitch.
    • she did alot for the wedding. and i'm eternally grateful. I think she freaked out a little bit. I really wasn't that picky. I mean it. Really. Everyone was afraid to make decisions. I'm still not sure what happened. but it worked out. It just means that we have photos of food being served from disposable aluminum containers. They are pininterest worthy pics though.
  • It really isn't a good idea for your brother to have knee surgery the day before the wedding. Even if it's just being "scoped." 
    • He skipped out before my mom could communicate with the photographer that she wanted pics with my brother, his son, and my dad. I wouldn't really care, because i didn't want to do the photo thing anyway (we are not a photogenic people), but my mother insisted. She's the one who is unhappy that they didn't get the photos. I think they turned out lovely, considering the material.  They made cutting a Costco cake look Pininerest worthy! 
  • I highly recommend flower girls instead of bridesmaids. 
    • much less drama. 
    • but be wary of your mother insisting that they carry bells, just like the woman from California told her about on the quilting cruise that she took 6 weeks before the wedding. She says that she will procure the bells. Though, you, as the bride have doubts about the intelligence of giving bells to a group of kids on your special day to hold whilst you promise your love and fidelity to the man with whom you've been living in sin  for, let's say, "a period of time greater than 6 months",  but you relent.  The day of, as you gather the flower girls, you realize that the bells your mother brought included jingle bells and cow bells, not the bells she showed you that she was going to order off the internet. [needless to say, I scratched the bells idea, grabbing some roses out of the floral arrangements for the girls to carry]. It worked out fine. and it still makes me chuckle.]
  • The Margaritas, which you carefully researched a bulk recipe that stays true to what a margarita is supposed to be, and also planned a few mixers to jazz it up a bit, under the banner "Margarita Bar"...
    • The first batch is wicked strong, because a real margarita is really all about the tequila. 2 parts tequila, 1 part triple sec, 1 part lime juice. I hit the jackpot when Costco started carrying reposado tequila. Or so i thought. I'm not a tequila fan, and i'm really not a fan of the reposado kind. but the bridesmaid assured me that it was "smooth stuff." The first batch was sucked down in no time, making the margarita fans fairly drunk. the second batch was a little weaker, slowing the crowd down, and the third batch was "eh..." or so i hear. I never really finished a drink. i kept losing my cup. 
    • The maid of honor forgot that i put the stuff for the margarita bar in her truck. I kept lookign for the mixers, but couldn't find them. 2 weeks later she tells me that they are in the back of her vehicle. so much for the margarita bar. But honestly, after the first batch of margarita, screw the mixers! 
    • Later, I went to talk to the aforementioned maid of honor (and gather, perhaps for a picture),  was completely wasted. I was like, "Are you wasted?" Who knew that it was possible to slur giggling. Did I mention that she was "in charge" of maintaining the Margarita Bar? It made me happy that she had a good time. It's hard when your best friend gets married, and you are not. If I wasn't the bride in this show, I would have been slurring giggles right along with her. 
      • PS-She "slept" in the back of the car on the way to the "evening supper" in Festus. She looked so innocent snoring next to the Mister's sister, who was also sleeping pretty hard. 
That's my wedding observations. They are funny to me. It's not a complaint or anything that I regret. Sure, there are things I would do a little differently, but in the end, we got it done. and that's all that matters. 

Now we get back to real life. The part that drew us together in the first place.