I don’t see an expiration date

My extensive artistic works, spanning decades.

While I was home visiting during spring break, MomBert guilted me in to going through two huge tubs of crap which mostly dated from my high school experience. I have no urges to revisit high school, but apparently I don’t rate unlimited storage in her closet. I did make a dent, but only got it down to a crate and a half. Based on the contents of my gigantic scrapbooks, I might have some hoarding tendencies. I saved it all! I think asking why would require a whole other post,and a therapist’s assistance.

However I did discover two amazing things that had me laughing. After graduation, I went on one of those pre-planned educational tours –much like the one several of my students are on this week-with my French teacher and several classmates. In among every brochure I never needed to save from the trip, was the handwritten note from MomBert giving me permission to drink! (It was 1992! This is a no-no today.)

There’s no expiration date so I’m taking this as permission for life! Thanks, Mom. Did that!

I also discovered that as a toddler I had the sight, but only in regards to cheesy 70’s art. There was a small spiral notebook filled with cut out and pasted magazine images that must have appealed to little me. MomBert said we spent a lot of time cutting and pasting. There were plenty of cats and outdoors pictures including a classy cigarette ad of guys smoking while roughhousing with colts. However the page that got me yelling across the house featured an embroidery owl that hangs in my kitchen from our latest antiques road trip last summer.

Do not doubt my powers!

Tales of the World’s Longest Yard Sale, Day 1, Year 5: We hit a nerve…or two.

This year’s longest yard sale starts tomorrow at the butt crack of dawn. I won’t be there but I wish you treasure hunters well.

MomBert and I had our big junk adventure this June in Nashville. I read a random article (this is not the original random article) about the Top 10 flea markets in the U.S., she said that it said to budget two days, and we went! Elkhorn, Wisconsin was the next closest choice.

The Nashville Flea was good, but it wasn’t “budget two days good.” One vendor told us that the REALLY big show -the “you can’t get off the highway exit for an hour” show-wasn’t until October, a detail our original article did not mention. Regardless, it was a solid flea market with multiple covered open buildings, tents, and multiple air conditioned buildings. Plus they had food trucks that went beyond “fair food.” We went for the panini truck; kind of wished I had gone with the Asian noodle truck. We  were there by 8 am and left around 2 pm, having done a couple of laps.


This person’s shop is called Dead People’s Things. Truth in advertising, love it!

Other highlights were stopping at the American Pickers’ store in Marathon Village. It was a tiny space, but good for t-shirts and a bumper sticker for the cat carrier. It was cool to see items like Gypsy Grandma and the Wolf Boy that I recognized from episodes, but most of the antiques that were for sale were way out of my budget.


We also kept up with eating local by hitting the Loveless Cafe twice. Worth it! I think dinner there may have even been better than breakfast. Catfish, greens, fried-green tomatoes…yummmmm. Of course, the biscuits were amazing and their peach jam tasted like my aunt’s homemade peach pie.


Even though we left Nashville a day earlier than planned, we used that time to casually meander back to Ohio and hit EVERY antique mall we saw a sign for on the way.


Our Nashville treasures. Ross looks stunning. I’m now up to three tiny velvet sombreros.

Despite a daily tension headache from negotiating Nashville’s highways (Siri and I will never be the same), we were in much better shape than we were during last year’s yard sale.

Last year was the longest yard sale‘s 30th Anniversary so we kinda hadda go!!! Whoooo!

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Miles is psyched!

However, I spent last summer doing physical therapy because my left arm was shooting electrical bolts and keeping up a fairly constant state of pain mixed with weird numbness and an inability to sleep in any of my favorite positions. It turned out that I was not developing superhero powers, but have bulging discs hitting nerves. Driving or sitting in a car for more than 15 minutes exacerbated the pain as did carrying any type of purse or bag. Yea! Let’s go yard saling. Seriously, I was the driving force on this mission because I’m an idiot who wanted an adventure. Meanwhile MomBert’s sciatic nerve was on fire so sitting in a car plus walking excessively had her aching. We were a hot mess.

Due to our aches, pains, and lack of planning, we decided to keep it simple and stay in state just making a day of it. An hour’s drive west on 70 got to Route 127 and the sale route north.

We originally did the Ohio portion in 2015, coming south from Addison, Michigan and ending around Cincinnati. The same spots like the Darke County Steam Threshers Woods were still hosting tent cities .

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Our day started rainy and dark but soon brightened up without getting blistering hot. We stopped at Niekamp Farm Market which we had missed on our original Ohio trip. Plenty of vendors and a  market to snack in!

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It was windy.

We visited my favorite giant chicken in Franklin, Ohio.


But were slowing down by the time we hit the Lakeshore park in Celina. I highly recommend this stop for the number and quality of vendors, plus the lake is pretty. However we were both in pain, and had yet to eat lunch even though it was edging on 2 pm.


My theory was if I could just lay on  a hard, flat surface and do some stretches, I would maybe stop being electrified.

We took 127 on into Celina and stopped at Bistro Brew Nation for a much needed rest and lunch. Another highly recommend. The walls were covered with local art, none of the chairs and tables matched, and the pizza selections were delicious.


Back on the road, we ran in to this handsome devil again around Hopewell. Hellooooo, sailor! Two years later, and he was on the same table in practically the same spot. I regret leaving him behind once again.

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Someone buy him, please!

Buy 4:30 pm, we had made it to the Van Wert Fairgrounds and we were freezing! I have been constantly rained on during the sale, and sweated balls during the sale, but I have never been so cold that I was looking for a table selling sweaters. Fucking Ohio.


Freezing and little to show for it.

Van Wert was the end of our day. It was cold, vendors were closing, and we had a two hour drive to triangulate our way home. It was a good time.

I raise my fanny pack to you, yard salers! May your bargains be many, and your porta potty trips few.

Tales of the World’s Longest Yard Sale, Day 2 continued, Year 4: The Hobbit Life After Lunch

Stuffed on southern cooking and hoping for no more Fat Man’s Squeeze situations, we headed further over the mountain to go into the mountain! Silly hobbits.

It’s always 60 degrees in the Ruby Falls caves which was a relief from the weather outside. We queued up and joined a group to be sucked two stories down into a tourist friendly cave.

Rule one of the tour: TOUCH NOTHING! Some of the formations are still “living” and forming. Human hands and skin oils mess with them. There was one formation that we were all allowed to touch just to get it out of our systems, and we touched the Hell out of it!


Yea, we’re gonna touch this formation! Touch it!

The tour was a casual 1 mile round trip to the falls with goofily named, unnaturally lit rock formations along the way and moments of intimacy when another tour group had to squeeze by on the way back to the elevators.



Not thinking about the amount of rock overhead was easy until the guide started spouting facts and history. In 1828, Leo Lambert and excavators discovered a passage and decided to crawl through it for 17 hours, ultimately making it back to the falls. Their tiny, initial passage was preserved in the wall.


MomBert has the Cave Crazies! Too much rock overhead!

Ruby Falls is 145 feet high. It’s the largest underground waterfall in the U.S. and, as the guide helpfully pointed out, we were about 1200 feet underground. Roughly the Empire State Building. Over time the pool that the Falls hit has shifted and spread. In 1988, we might have been able to walk behind the water but not anymore.

I find it odd that it’s not enough to see a really beautiful, fascinating bit of nature; there also has to be a light show.


We retraced our path, retouched the touchable formation, and shot up three stories to pop out conveniently on the upper level at the gift shop. Before hitting the gift shot, we climbed stairs up two more levels to check out another hot, windy view of Chattanooga. It was only 2:30 and we had run through our planned activities.


A Internet search took us to the Knitting Mill Antique mall. It was the perfect find! a massive old factory building, but unfortunately all the signage said “Going Out of Business.” We cruised the booths and enjoyed the junk. It was too early for more than a snack, but a loud food discussion turned me into an eavesdropper. Two older women were heatedly debating barbecue joints while rearranging their merchandise. It was Purple Daisy versus Nooga-Q and they were literally arguing and assessing every menu item from meats to cornbread and homemade chips. I rarely do this, but I blatantly played tourist and inserted myself into the conversation, asking for specifics and making sure I had the correct restaurant names. Hey, a hobbit’s gotta eat dinner.

Meanwhile we found an adorable, retro-decorated gelato and coffee spot, Milk & Honey , a few blocks away and re-energized. A few local shops later, and we were ready to eat local again.

Nooga-Q was the winner since the Purple Daisy seemed like more of an eat outside situation-not in that heat. Nooga-Q was a tin building in the middle of a strip mall parking lot. Our waitress seemed surprised that we were staying, most of their business was drive thru. We were the lone customers for a little while, but the wall of articles and local awards was reassuring. Tender brisket, fried okra, coleslaw for days, our meal was delicious. It would be the best thing we ate for the next two days.


To be continued: yard sales on mountains

Another DIWhy are we doing this….

It’s no wonder that I have two year old sewing projects. It takes me forever to do anything! Hence writing this in June 2016 about a project that started roughly in December 2014.

Once upon a time, I decided that it was time to upgrade my $5 yardsale worktable that I had used for years as my computer and project central location to something more stylish, more me. I wanted something gigantic, industrial, with a butcher block top, and rusted, paint spattered metal. I wanted it to have a history as a former whatever in some factory somewhere. It would also have a foot rest and possibly some cat storage. (People keep sending me the ridiculously expensive, but alluring CATable. Every crazy cat person needs this table.)

What I learned in my quest to antique stores and flea markets was that often these industrial giants were too big for my space, too tall to comfortably sit at, and too expensive to buy. Desirable qualities never quite matched the price point which was over $1000 in some cases.

My ever vigilantly helpful mother was on the lookout for me as well and this was how we got Texas cedar involved. The local flea market is a questionable place. It smells awful and is populated mostly by crap that appears to have been looted from 1980’s trailers. On the edges are a few vendors with interesting junk. MomBert found a guy selling planks that he had planed from a cedar tree in Texas. They were beautiful, full of purple stripes and knots, and smelled glorious. So in December of 2014, we spent my Christmas money, merrily picking out six worthy planks. We had no idea what we would do with them, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.


We’ve got wood! Hee hee hee..

A connection was made shortly after. My dad had a good friend who did woodworking. As in he rebuilt things in his old farm house, made fantastic giant pieces of furniture etc… This sounded like the guy! Unfortunately, the friend did not have heat in his workshop so no crafting could happen until spring. In the meantime the woodworking friend questioned the viability of our purchased planks. First, he felt that six was not enough, and secondly, they were too thin. Fortunately, Texas cedar guy returned in the spring with another load of cedar planed thicker from a dead tree in a cemetery (there’s my story!), and was willing to trade the middleman MomBert for the previously purchased planks while also selling her a few more.


And more wood….

Once the weather warmed up, the industrious woodworking friend was on it! By June of 2015, I had a gorgeous tabletop living in my garage while I sanded and varnished it. It was so big or my garage is so small that I had to stop using some of the doors in and out and parking became a game of Jenga. Once the staining was done, I tricked a friend in to helping me carry the tabletop in to the house where it took up residence under a sheet, leaning against a chair. The legs would come….eventually.


Who needs space for a car, silly!

One of my wish list items for the August 2015 longest yard sale was a base for my table top. Specifically, old sewing machine legs. Day two of the yardsale hit the jackpot and I found a pile of legs to choose from. In retrospect, we probably should have gotten two sets because of the size and stability of the tabletop, but unlike all males around us, MomBert and I are not retired engineers.(Woodworking friend and BF, both retired engineers)  Returning home from the sale, MomBert and I started sketching out a master plan of how to attach the legs to the table top. The boyfriend would need detailed info if he were to be properly tricked in to building a table base.

After some consultations, the retired engineer boyfriend was ready to build a base by October of 2015. In his head this project would take only a  few hours- silly women. In reality, it was a long ass day.


No one was physically injure.

The base traveled precariously to my house where it was married to the table top via wood screws.


And… Voila! One million years later, I have a new and beautiful table that I can write a post about.


Tales of the World’s Longest Yard Sale, Day 3, Year 3: Shit, I’m Tired.

Last night I was up too late mapping this year’s yard sale adventure and trying to determine if there was a major difference in Holiday Inn Expresses that were about 15 minutes apart, but roughly an hour from where we would end our last day on the sale. I was too tired to see the future. However I did remember that I never finished Year 3’s final installment. I left off in January. I’m slow.

We left our intrepid yard salers at a two-story Comfort Inn sans elevator in Greenville, Ohio. As a hoard of senior citizens partied in the hallways-mostly safely on the first floor-at least one of our yard salers was eagerly anticipating using the waffle machine that she had scoped out in the breakfast nook!

***I don’t want to own a waffle machine because, goodness knows, that’s all a fat girl needs. However I get psyched when  I get to use one at a hotel!

I was happy with my breakfast situation, but MomBert’s choices were mushy, tasteless, and sad. The breakfast nook was a swarm of partied out seniors who never went to bed the night before and had grabbed all the good stuff.

MomBert looked at her crappy piece of toast and reminisced about how when she traveled with my aunt and uncle, they would often make a McDonald’s stop for breakfast. A sausage patty and biscuit would be so much better than this.


This was a magic moment when I discovered something new about someone I’ve known my whole life. I’m picky about fast food so I could understand her assumption that I would want nothing to do with McDonald’s breakfast. But McDonald’s breakfast is literally the only thing I will eat from the place-aside from French fries! Hallelujah! I will feed my waffle to a squirrel later!

Tasty, surprisingly flaky biscuits in hand, we backtracked 6 miles to York Woods where we had passed an encampment of vendors too late the evening before.


Sell us your junk!!!!

It was like finding a band of gypsies. Gypsies who were still half asleep and just starting their morning fires for making coffee. At 8 a.m., we were ready to start buying, but they were too sleepy to care much.

We rousted a few and then headed on down the road in search of treasures like FART:The Game. I guarantee that if we added my sister to the team, we would dominate this game or shit our pants trying.


No matter what I do, WordPress will only load this image sideways and apparently no longer offers the rotate tool???!!! Hateful.

We were hitting an area of more tiny towns like Castine, Ohio where the streets were lined and the available bathrooms were few. Maybe we just need to hitch a port-a-john to the car.

We also noticed that we were being “followed” by this white cat statue which kept appearing at various stops. This one had eyelashes attached. I vowed to buy the next one we came across – it was a slow purchase day– which meant we never saw another one.


By noon, we had crossed Interstate 70 and hit Eaton, Ohio. Our streak of “eating local” ended at an Arby’s. It was hot, we were tired, the finds were few.


Screw this noise, I’m done.

We set an end game to make it to the Cincinnati outer belt of 275 and head home from there on highways. It took another hour or so to wind our way through the denser urban neighborhoods on the route.We checked out a few packed parking lots, but ultimately went on our way empty handed.

Hitting 275 marked an end to this year’s adventure until the first exit….which had an antique mall. I swerved across lanes of traffic to get to exit 41 and the Ohio Valley Antique Mall. We budgeted an hour to walk their air conditioned aisles, purchase cookies, and use clean bathrooms while eyeballing the antiques.

We were somewhere on the road in Warren County by 6: 30 p.m. and home eating Tommy’s Pizza by 9 p.m.



Eat local!

The cats were ecstatic to see their grammie! And critical of my absence.


In the end MomBert spent $191, mostly on frames and things made of iron.


I spent $219.50. My purchases at the antique mall pushed me over. They were not yard sale prices! This was probably one of our priciest years.


The next morning, Miles and MomBert started mapping out a plan of how to turn my sewing machine legs in to desk legs. The engineer boyfriend can be tricked in to building things if you give him drawings, photos, and measurements. A project to be continued…


Spring Break Extravaganza! : Photos, cleaning, zombies…oh my!

Friday- My First Spring Break Photo

My first official photo of Spring Break was for my driver’s license. I got a postcard in the mail on Thursday reminding me that I had a birthday over a month ago and that my license expired at that time.


This was not even remotely on my birthday to-do list because I just got a new license about  a year ago since I thought I had lost my license at the time. It turned out that the old license was against the wall under the hoosier cabinet where any number of furry paws must have pushed it. “It slides on the tile! Wheeee!” The lesson to be learned is that I should more frequently and more thoroughly clean under furniture.

Friday after school, officially free to run wild, I went to the DMV. Fortunately, on a  Friday at 4:00 there were few other people who thought that standing in an overheated room that wreaked of cigarettes and old lady church perfume was a good idea. Two people away from being called, I had a tiny DMV flashback/ panic attack brought on by listening to the employees continually ask, “Will that be cash or check?”  The DMV is the only place on Earth still not set up for credit cards. I quickly ransacked my purse, checking all emergency cash spots. If this was over $25 and some change, I was out of luck.

I was able to swing the $25.75 down to the last little penny I had, and got to pose. It was so exciting! First picture of Spring Break! Whoooooooo!

DMV employee: “Ma’am, please put your top down. We need to be able to see all facial features.”

Saturday- Oh, It’s Clean Enough

I don’t like cleaning. Sure, it looks good and feels good when it’s done; but with myself plus four cats, it’s a never ending battle of dust, dirty laundry, and fur. Among my many projects over break, cleaning would be one starting Saturday.

I can attest that all the surfaces in my bathrooms are cleaner. Several loads of laundry and some rugs were washed. However vacuuming and putting laundry away is TBA. I lost my momentum after a  trip to Target and two hours of tech support bingo with my home computer.

The cats were having a contest to see who could be least helpful to mommy. I’m not sure who won, but all four melted into sun puddles that day.

Can't help clean. Meeelllltttiing

Can’t help clean. Meeelllltttiing

I eventually said screw it and made cookies.

Sunday-Old Lady

Sunday, I traveled to exotic and “warm” Southern Ohio for pizza lunch and familial visitations with Gpa and company (All the people I know who went south to Florida, Vegas, and Mexico are totally jealous). Having a few hours to kill before meeting up with Mom-Bert, I hit all the available flea markets and antique stores in town. Not many, but enough to fill some time and  leave me with a reasonable nap time on her couch.

At one shop, the resident feline greeted me and then trailed my progress through the place. I’m not sure if the cat was about working a sales pitch or if I looked sketchy and needed to be followed for security reasons. If I failed to acknowledge him/her frequently enough, the cat would jump up on tables and chairs near me as a reminder that it needed petted and talked to. Every shop needs a cat.

"Let me talk to you about our table selection."

“Let me talk to you about our table selection.”

I didn’t make any purchases, but I did come back to an item that attracted my attention on earlier visits. It’s a yard long embroidered flower garden of bright, cheery flowers. I like the colors, the variety of flowers, and the non-standard shape of the piece. However start combining embroidery with all my other tchotchkes, and suddenly this will turn into a grandma’s house. I polled an honest friend and my Facebook connections, getting pretty much the same response: it says old lady. I’m conflicted. It’s pretty, I’m drawn to it. If it were a painting or multimedia piece for the same price, I probably wouldn’t second guess buying it. Just something about embroidery……

But it's pretty.

But it’s pretty.

Ricktator versus Porch Dick—This should probably be its own post.

I am told that pimpin’ ain’t easy

Yesterday I went to a fleamarket/ antique “extravaganza.” I’d been to the location before when there had been a minimal number of vendors, so in my head I was sure this would only take a few hours and then I’d be off to do other Saturday things.  Five hours later I was sunburned, slightly lost, and had spent more money on food and beverages than on junk. There was row after row spiraling around in no discernible pattern, covering what seemed like the entirety of the fairgrounds. Vendors were tucked in everywhere including some of the animal barns. I felt like I wandered in circles with only a giant ice cream cone and a line of porta-johns as my most recognizable landmarks. I’m a big believer in rows at events like this because I like to be systematic and not miss anything. At the end of the five hours when I was left with a vague sense of deja vu about my surroundings, I was still pretty sure that I had missed some pockets of vendors. There was just SO MUCH STUFF! It was amazing!

One thing I did not miss and actually wandered by multiple times was a taxidermied canoe full of critters. I am certain that I was in the presence of TaxidermyJim whose work I had seen on Etsy and eBay. How many canoes full of two raccoons, a fox, a beaver, and a badger can there be in the world?

Yes, I made a donation.

Yes, I made a donation.

Look in the back of the truck.

He had other smaller mounts out on the tables, but the second big draw was the back of his u-haul style truck. Every time I wandered by, he was holding court like a taxidermy rock star with onlookers gaping at the number of bobcats, opossums, squirrels, and raccoons posed in the back of the truck. I got close every time hoping to hear someone actually mention a price. The only tags on the mounts was information about his licensing as a fur seller and taxidermist. I never heard a single mention of a dollar value. Taxidermy = priceless?

On the lip of the truck bed, he had a tiny little chipmunk rowing a tiny canoe. I kept thinking, how much could that really cost? According to the ones I found online, quite a bit. However by my last stop by, it was gone.

I acknowledge that his work was out of my price range and that purchasing any of it would just add to the layers of crazy, but I hate going to things like this and not buying anything but lunch. Early on I had a soft serve ice cream cone and bottled water because that was the only booth without a line at lunch time. I just needed calories and liquid. Later I played food poisoning Russian Roulette with a “Texas Tenderloin” sandwich. I’m not 100% clear on what meat was involved. All I can say for certain was that it was deep fried and tasted okay.

Maybe it was that desperation to just buy something that drew me to an open suitcase full of mink stoles. Not just the pieces of fur, but the full on heads, tails, and tiny mink paws dangling as they all bit each other’s butts. They were jumbled together on a giant furry pile begging to be petted. Better yet there was a sign laying in the suitcase that said “Half off.”

When we were little, going to my grandparents’ for family events meant playing dress up. We had access to old dresses, shoes, hats, tons of ridiculous jewelry, and a group of minks. (No one wants to tell me what a group of minks is called. Maybe they never assemble in groups?) My grandpa was a big fan of going to auctions and buying mystery boxes of stuff so I’m not sure if the minks were accumulated from auction goods or something that my grandma wore when they were fashionable. I remember being more amused by them than grossed out, and they were essential accessories to our pretend wardrobe. I have no idea what happened to them. I don’t know if a cleaning spree cleared them out, or if one of my awful aunts carted them away.

I listened to the vendor’s spiel about how the half off sign was supposed to be on a different table, how the color I had chosen was extra special and rare, but that she could do better on the tagged price.  So I bought a soft champagne group of three for $20; my big purchase of the day. Such an odd modern fashion choice to drape ourselves not only with furs, but the tiny clawed paws and faces of our catch. And, no, I can’t logically explain my love of animals combined with a fascination with taxidermied creatures.

All I knew is that my cats were going to either love or hate these.

An immediate swarm and then done.

An immediate swarm and then done.

The cat fascination lasted for all of five minutes. Currently, the triplets are gracing W. Charles Marmota. He is a pimp daddy.

Pimpin' ain't easy, my friends.

Pimpin’ ain’t easy, my friends.


Updated: Reunited and it feels sooooo goood

As previously established, I am a sucker for places, events and things featuring the words “Largest, Tallest, Longest…etc” in their titles. So a flyer promoting Dayton’s “Largest Flea Market/Yard Sale” was enough to make me take the 90 minute drive. Deep inside, I knew that I should just stay home and do practical things like vacuum, but the sale was the “largest” located at a fairgrounds and, after all, it’s summer time!

My friends were lucky that they were able to decline going with me. The “Largest Flea Market/Yard Sale” took me about 20 minutes to walk through. Even the two story “Treasure Barn” antique mall attached to the fairgrounds was more of  a yard sale reject disappointment than anything else. At least it only cost a dollar to get into the flea  market (who charges for flea market attendance anyway?), parking was free, and I now knew what I wasn’t missing.

I feel that they have misunderstood the term "largest."

I feel that they have misunderstood the term “largest.”

As a consolation prize to myself, I stopped at the smaller of the two large antique malls off Highway 70 on the way home. As it was a beautiful, mild, summer’s day outside (you know, the perfect day for a large outdoor flea market), I vowed to only walk the rows with booths where I could poke at stuff, and exclude the rows that were just lighted stacks of glass cases, no poking allowed. For some reason, the mall featured live music that day. A guitar player sat at the entrance to the rows playing away. I liked his repertoire, but noticed that his lyrics got a little more garbled as time passed. Who leaves out a whole verse of “Margaritaville“? Either way, he was an interesting addition.

Buttons and I hanging out. He was all like "I love selfies. Smile!"

Buttons and I hanging out. He was all like, “I love selfies. Smile!”

I got to visit with my buddy Buttons who I had met on an earlier trip. Most of his glassy eyed friends were still in the booth, complete with enormous prices and DO NOT TOUCH signs.

The few Czechoslovakian birds I ran across were either ones I own or the “rare” ones who are well out of my budget for small, essentially useless pieces of ceramic. Aside from just things that were interesting to look through, no great treasures emerged until the second to last row. I always have to remind myself that one of the cardinal rules of going through antique stores is LOOK UP. High on top of a showcase cabinet was the squirrel that can see through your soul!

My mom and I first encountered the squirrel that can see through your soul at one of our stops at the Longest Yard Sale. We were maybe a little tired and slap happy, but we found the disturbing, golden, alien eyes eerie, but hilarious. Not $20 worth of hilarious at the time, but close. We’ve run into the squirrel many times since then, greeting it with a shout of recognition: “Hey, Squirrel!” but still finding the price tag of 20-30 dollars a little to steep for an unmarked piece of ceramics (Some people say

"How much for the squirrel and the older gentleman?"

“How much for the squirrel and the older gentleman?”

it’s McCoy but no one seems 100% sure.). She even sent me a photo of her boyfriend holding the squirrel at  a local trader’s day. He just looked confused– the boyfriend, not the squirrel- clearly just doing as he had been told.


Had to stretch.

Had to stretch.

As always, I was excited to see the squirrel because my soul probably needs eyeballing. However the height of the cabinet made easily checking the price tag a matter of problem solving. I was able to reach up with my phone, getting a picture of the price tag to inspect at  my more reasonable height of 5′ 6″. This manifestation of the squirrel was only $10! Even the taller mall staff member who got it down was amazed.

Tall Staff Guy: “This squirrel is only $10!”

Me: “I KNOW!”  I left out the part about it being a real bargain for something that can see through your soul. I imagine the guy meets enough weirdos during his shift.

"Where we goin'?"

“Where we goin’?”

At long last the squirrel that can see through your soul and I are united. He will sit in my kitchen evaluating all who enter, holding his tiny golden nut aloft.





Updated 7/25/14: Mr. Squirrel has a black friend! Everyone should have one! A black friend I guess or maybe a squirrel. Works either way.

He was even cheaper at $9.

He was even cheaper at $9.

Antique Cat: Day 22

Whoa, Spring Break is slowing me down; I’m a day behind. Must be the constant partying at things like an antiques expo. Yeeee ow! Grandmas gone wild!

Any large event attracts a certain spectrum of those that blend in to the crowd to the social oddballs who may be trying too hard for the “look at me” moment. The crowd at a  massive antiques expo is no different just…well,…older. My mom, aunt, and I might have been at the zero end of the “normal blending” folks except that we all separately got dressed that morning, but managed to arrive very obviously wearing the same color palette of fuchsia and gray. Comments were made.

Five hours later...

Five hours later…

However, our fashion choices did not really tip the meter in comparison to the people (all vendors at least) who felt compelled to bring their pets to an extremely crowded, all day, indoor event. So many safety concerns came to mind for me, mostly for the pets. What if they’re anxious? What if they freak out and run away, or bite someone and then get blamed for that? What about the owners? What’s wrong with these people that they can’t leave their pets at home?

One vendor had two fluffy little purse dogs leashed to his chair. I really would have loved to look at the wares in the back of his booth, but I was convinced that I was going to kick or step on one of his spastic dogs. My strategy was to let a grandma push past me; she cleared a path through the dogs because nothing was keeping her from her tchotkes. Another guy brought his weiner dog and clad the poor thing in a fluorescent orange vest. Maybe they were going hunting later, or directing traffic. The dog would not stop making eye contact with me. I was either supposed to save him or fight him.

The worst offender though was a grandma with green hair. This was the first indicator that not all was as it should be in her booth. She had the extremely tight perm of the elderly woman whose hair is thinning. The back half of her perm was dark gray and black; but the front half, the bangs area and more, was a vibrant green. We speculated that she was very enthusiastic about St. Patrick’s Day. Her booth did feature a lot of holiday items so it just might have been her thing. No harm in a little funky hair dye.

I took two steps into her booth, saw the pet, pivoted, and took twos steps out. My aunt was the most immediate person to share what I had seen.


Indeed, she of the green perm had  a large black cat sitting on the chair next to hers, leashed on a chain like  a panther. The cat was very sedate. Possibly…one might say…sedated?

Cat: “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddddddddeeee. Final price. No haggling.”

I wanted to pet it, but was a little concerned about upsetting whatever kitty high it was on.

Kitty says cash only.

Kitty says cash only.