Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Final Farewell And A New Beginning?

As many of you know, I worked for the same insurance company for 16 years as a claims adjuster. Being at the same company for a long time has many advantages. You know what to do and how to do it. You know most of your coworkers. You know the fastest route to work and how to detour if there is a problem on the freeway. It's comfortable.

In February of this year, we were told that our office would be closing. Most of us had the opportunity to relocate to other offices, but all of the offices were in other states. Relocating was not an option for me. Yesterday was my "official" last day. It was strange and sad to say goodbye to my friends and coworkers; to know it was the last time I would drive that route. There were some tears. But I am looking at it as a turning point in my life. Not a bump in the road but the opportunity to change the road, build a new road, maybe change the map altogether! I don't know where it will take me but half of the challenge is getting there anyways.

Fall Show Schedule

The Fall is almost here! Where did my summer go? Here is our Fall schedule that is confirmed:
September 6th--Alameda Pointe Antique Show
September 11th-13th---Harvest Festival in Pleasanton at the fairgrounds.
September 17th--Ladies Night Out in Folsom
September 20th---Folsom Antique Show in Old Town
September 27th--Petaluma Antique Show in downtown Petaluma
October 4th---Lodi Street Fair. We will be on School St in the antique section
October 11th--Clovis Antique Fair in Old Town Clovis
(Right now we have the next 2 weekends free---I'm sure Sheri will add something)
November 1st--Alameda Pointe Antique Show
November 8th--Sacramento Antique Show under the WX Freeway
November 20th-22nd-Harvest Festival in Sacramento at Cal Expo
November 27th-29th Sonora Christmas Craft Fair
November 28th--Handborn in downtown Modesto
December 3rd-5th Harvest Festival in Pomona.

It will be a busy 4th quarter! Come see us at one of the shows and say hello!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 2 at the 127 Corridor sale

Another great day in Kentucky! We went another 80 miles south from Danville Kentucky to Monticello. The weather was wonderful. Warm but not super hot and no rain! The ground remains muddy but it is definitely better than yesterday.

We met more wonderful people and of course some strange people. I often wonder about the people that are selling at 127. There are people that truly have "garage sale" type items at garage sale prices. There are people that have garage sale items at a ridiculous price. There are antique dealers that still think they can get $200 for something I can buy on ebay for $20. There are those people who have a box that you sift through with mostly trash and you wonder why they bother. There are also lots of people selling reproduction glassware. I do believe that there are markets for reproduction, but sell it at a reproduction price. There are too many people out there trying to sell it as if it was old.

If you would like to see more pictures, visit my sister's blog at

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 1 of World's Longest Yard 127 sale

Well, we are finally here and Day 1 is over. We are tired and DIRTY! There has been significant rain for the last week. We actually flew into Nashville yesterday, into a significant storm. You know that it's going to be bad when the National Weather service sends out the emergency broadcast system several times along the way!

We left Danville Kentucky heading north on 127. Unfortunately, it was still raining so we continued to drive north hoping it would let up on our way to Ohio. The weather finally cleared and we began shopping! There were some great finds, vintage Alice in Wonderland cookie jar, Fenton vases, 1950's planters, ceramic animals, jewelry and more. We had forgotten how beautiful Kentucky is in August. There are gorgeous green rolling hills, working farms and horse ranches etc. On our first stop, we talked to a man who loves Kentucky and told us that God vacations in Kentucky!! We had forgotten how much people in Kentucky love their state!

We met some wonderful people, some strange/scary people and some who were angry about....well whatever.

We are hoping for better weather and more great shopping tomorrow!

If you would like to see pictures of our trip, visit my sister's blog at

Friday, July 31, 2009

World's Longest Yard Sale Here We Come!

I am very excited to be leaving on Tuesday for the World's Longest Yard Sale, also known as the 127 Yard Sale If you haven't been (or heard about it) it runs from the Michigan/Ohio border, down to Gadsden Alabama along Highway 127. My sister and I have been going to the sale for many years. We shop all day for 4 days, buying treasures, junk and everything in between. If you are planning on attending and have never been, or think you might want to go next year, read on.

First of all, you can't shop the entire route. It's impossible. Between the winding roads, the traffic and the shopping, there just isn't time. Even if you are a fast shopper (and my sister and I are fast shoppers) you'll be lucky to make it 1/3 of the way. There are too many places to stop and too much traffic. This is one of the trips where you need patience. Much of the route is a rural one lane each way road. The cars ahead of you are going to slow and sometimes stop in the middle of the road. If you are impatient or in a hurry, you're not going to have a good time.

Next, have reservations at least 5 months in advance! It never fails to amuse me when car after car pulls into a hotel along Highway 127 to see if there is a vacancy. There isn't. The rooms are filled and have been booked for many months. Why would you travel to the World's Longest Yard Sale without reservations? The nearest room is at least 100 miles away from the highway. Figure out in advance the route you plan to travel and book a room in the middle. We shop north of the hotel the first day and south the second day. We then change hotels and do the same for the remaining two days. This way we aren't back tracking and are able to cover more territory.

When you see something you it! Please DO NOT ask my sister how many times I have stood and thought about something, didn't buy it and then 2 hours later I'm upset and/or obsessed about it. We have backtracked, more times than I care to say, so that I could buy something that I saw earlier in the day. Sometimes it's still there, sometimes it is not, sometimes we can't even find the spot again. My sister will then say...."Why didn't you buy it when we were there?" I don't know. If I'm looking at something too long, she will say, "If you don't buy it, you'll obsess about it later." Of course I then reply, "No I won't", but alas, I do.

If you are not from the south or midwest, remember that it is going to be hot, humid and stormy. Be prepared for the humidity but also be prepared for the thunderstorms. Several years ago, we were at the Cumberland General Store at their tent city, when it began to rain, then pour. Then came the lightning. We ran under someone's canopy tent and the wind picked up. It was only after there was a lightning strike very nearby, that I looked around and saw several people, including my sister, holding down the metal poles of the canopy, in an attempt to be "helpful". Holding something metal during a lightning storm is probably a bad idea. Luckily no one was hurt.

Remember to enjoy the people, the scenery and the hunt! If you are going, remember to be careful out there. If you aren't going this year, stop back by for an update from the road. I'll be blogging about our adventures and even unusual finds!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My how times have changed!

If you read my last post, you know that I recently purchased a diary written by an unknown woman in 1952. I began browsing her entries last night and realized how much times have changed!

I have read large portions of my great grandmother's diary from the late 1800's, early 1900's. My great grandmother was a fantastic person and I have wonderful memories of her. She traveled from Missouri to Oregon in a covered wagon, married and had 5 children on a ranch that she and her husband owned. Due to unusual circumstances, my great grandmother ended up running the ranch on her own. So as I began reading the diary, I expected all of the "feelings" and "emotions" you might think about in doing this, as a woman, in a time where women had no rights. You would be completely wrong. The diary outlines how many men she fed, how much crops were harvested and the costs of things. A typical entry: "10 men fed, half of the harvest done, 1 man dead, Dr visit $2." There was absolutely nothing about who died or why. Did she like this person? Was she sad? Did the man have a family? It's not that my great grandmother was cold or hard. In fact, she was quite the opposite. Another entry I recall: "Train to World's Fair $1. Lunch .10, souvenir .02." Did they have fun? What did they see? Who went with them? But for people of this era, things were just....different.

But 50 years later, it seems that not much had changed. This anonymous diary is very similar. "July 8, 1952: Sprayed dandilions here and at CR. Cut some of our lawn. Shower and some hail. hi 92. got haircut $1.15. Mr and Mrs. Haas of the Springs were here today" Who are the Haas'? Why were they there? Did they have a nice time? Did she like her haircut?

Today, we rely on feelings and emotions. Could you imagine spending time writing down the weather without how you felt about it? If I were the writer of my diary today the entry would look more like this: July 8, 2009: Worked on the yard until it began raining. Gosh, will the rain ever stop? It makes me so depressed to not be able to spend time in my garden. The hail was coming down and I had to run outside and make sure that I put the cars back in the garage so that they wouldn't get damaged. Since it was raining, I was glad that I had an appointment at the salon for a cut and color. Mandy did such a great job and my hair looks FABULOUS! Justin and Monica came over. I can't believe that they are still married! He is such a jerk! Why would she put up with him?

I guess somethings are better without the emotion.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Looking for your diary?

Most Saturday mornings, I am out and about town at different garage sales looking for good buys. It's an interesting treasure hunt. There are days when I fill my car and wish I had brought more money and my SUV. There are days when I wonder why I get out of bed and run around town with nothing to show for it. It's the hunt that keeps me going. I make my list of sales the night before, number the sales according to a rational route and put an asterisks by any sale that looks particularly appealing. I don't have a set list of items that I am looking for, just something that I like and at the right price. (As an aside, if you are selling your items at a retail price, call it a "store sale in my front yard" so that I know not to stop.)

In the past, I have bought all kinds of books. I am a book fanatic! My sister claims, that in the past, I have shoved her to the ground in order to get at the books. This is not exactly accurate. It was more of a polite push to one side. (She was in the way!) She does enjoy many of the books that I buy and there are times when I buy old yearbooks and we sit and look through them together. There have been yearbooks from the 1910's where someone has nicknamed everyone in the school, autographs and poems from students that make us think or laugh, or just interesting old ads. The yearbooks help pass the time if we are sitting at an antique show.

This last Saturday, I was at a garage sale when I noticed a box of miscellaneous photographs, scrapbooks and papers. I started to rummage through the box to see what I could find. There at the bottom was someones diary. It was in questionable condition with loose binding and someone had cut the lock open. I opened the diary and the first entry was from 1952 and goes through 1954. I got the attention of the "garage sale owner" and let her know that someones diary was in the box and suggested that she put it away before someone bought it. She said that they didn't want it and it was for sale for .50. What horrible person would buy and read someone else's personal diary? I guess that would be me! I bought the diary and intend to bring it to our next show.

If you're missing your diary with entries between 1952 and 1954, I have it. Your *insert relation that would sell your diary at a garage sale* sold it to me for 50 cents. I would be happy to sell it back to you, but only after I take a peek!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Show SchedulIe for July and August

We are keeping a very busy schedule for the rest of 2009. Until someone tells me how to add an "actual calendar" I will just list shows for a 2 month period of time.

July 2009
July 3rd--Estate Sale of Maria Clark, Citrus Heights, CA
July 5th--Alameda Point Antique show
July 9th-12th Portland Expo Collectible and Antique Show
July 18th----Can you believe that my sister is allowing me to have a "free weekend"??
July 26th--Moss Landing, CA. Moss Landing is 1/2 way between Santa Cruz and Monterey. This is a great show!

August 2009
Aug 2nd--Alameda Point Antique Show
Aug 4-9th ---127 SALE----YIPPPPEEE! Please pray for cool weather!
August 30th---Niles Antique Faire---Freemont, CA

I'm sure Sheri will add to the schedule---she always does! Feel free to email me if you want booth numbers, directions. Email Sheri if you want us to do another show! :-)

Wagon Train 2009

I have been an antique dealer for sometime now. It started out with my sister and I selling only on ebay, then moved to shows and then to creating upcycled and repurposed jewelry. During this journey, I've fallen in love with many Victorian items: pickle castors, castor sets, brides baskets etc. I always wonder where these items started off in life, who loved them etc.

Recently, we did a show in Placerville celebrating not only the founding of Placerville but also celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Wagon Train. The Wagon Train is a group of people, wearing period style clothing, traveling from somewhere in Nevada to Placerville, CA. We were enjoying a nice day outside when the Wagon Train pulled in. We took a couple of pictures, and just for a moment, I thought, that looks fun. Then reality set in. I do not like camping AT ALL. To me, if I wanted to sleep on the ground and eat something cooked outside, I wouldn't work. I know many people love to camp, it's just not me. I don't go on any vacation that doesn't include a high end hotel.

So I'm looking the the Wagon Train and imaging camping. I then realize that the wagons don't have air conditioning or shock absorbers for the matter. They only go a couple of miles per hour and the trails aren't paved Can you imagine being in the back of the pack with all of the dust being kicked up into the air? There are no bathrooms, hot shows, electricity or internet connection. (If you think you can live without internet, see what you do when your server goes down for a couple of hours!)

For all of you out there that did participate, have participated in the past or think that you will be participating in the future, don't worry---you can have my spot. I'll waive from the comfort of my room at the Hilton.