Wednesday, September 30, 2020

What I Buy Wednesdays

As promised, here are my purchases from the TWO antique shops my sisters and I visited in Salem. It was so much fun--especially since I cannot remember the last time I've been antiquing. I don't "need" anything and I'm trying to get rid of stuff! I kept reminding myself of that. Still I came home with quite a haul!! The prices in a small town were so amazing! Really cheap!
Janet, Janice and me.
This time, Janet is behind the camera while Jennifer takes her place.
This is the whole shebang---well, except for my Halloween centerpiece at the very top. I got a little of everything.
I never would have imagined that I would find anything Beachy in this little town in the midwest. Not a beach in sight for hundreds of miles. I have an idea in mind for the framed conch shell. The bag of shells will go in to a glass jar. I'm very excited about our remodel at the beach and have been re-decorating it in my mind too! 

There are spiders--big ones and little ones that I put on the cake I served to my book club on Monday night. There is a new card game, puzzle, emory board for my purse. I got a cute little bead set to make a bee and a ladybug for my little rock painting friend. She'll be delivering another batch to me this week. The spools of ribbon were 25 cents each---nearly full. There are some cute little pumpkins with succulents. That beaded necklace was for Stephanie. 
The fall placemats were a real bargain--$4.00 for 6. Those along with a couple of the pumpkins the Christmas tablecloth and vintage leaf dish is for Morgan. The Halloween plates and napkins were 50 cents! I used those at book club too. There are 5 packs of tiny candles. I like to use those at each place on my holiday table. There is a Christmas present there for someone. The fabric scraps are earmarked for a scrapbook page that I'm planning for the group next week when we go to The Memory Make Inn. I'm really looking forward to that. There's a tiny, lucky pumpkin and another hand painted rock with a little verse---those are for a couple of my sweet granddaughters. Lastly are the vintage Christmas package salt and pepper shakers. I love those---so 50's!!

There it is, the full report. We had so much fun. I can't wait to do that again the next time I visit. 

Next week, I'll be reporting on a new toy!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Travel Tuesday

Even though you already have had a preview of my trip, I'm happy that I actually have a trip to post about! 

I headed to St. Louis last Tuesday around 5:30 a.m. The plan was to go straight to my cousin, Chrissy's. This greeted me:
Everything is all decorated for fall. It was so welcoming and pretty.
Of course, I was didn't get to appreciate it very much as I made a bee-line to the bathroom. I made it 5 1/2 hours without a single stop. I really like to do it that way. Luckily, my Jeep has a huge gas tank.
I noticed the newly paved sidewalk right away. I didn't realize that the driveway was also new--just like this. Very nice and looks so good.

After that brief bathroom stop, we drove to Olde Towne St. Charles where we met Chrissy's sister and my other cousin, Judy for lunch. We all wore our masks and ate outside. It was a beautiful day---sort of cool, but not too cool. Just the perfect weather.

After lunch, I went straight to Janet's and transferred a few things to her Suburban. We were on the road by 3 p.m. to Salem. We met the twins at our hotel upon our arrival.

One day, we planned to stroll the little town. We only got a block (there are probably only 3 blocks total) and browsed through two antique shops. That was so much fun. I cannot remember the last time I was antiquing. Plus when you add the quarantine, I hadn't been shopping in ages. Well, okay, I was at Target last week for the first time!! 

We had lunch outside again. When we got back to the farm, we had show and tell. I'll be sharing my purchases tomorrow on "What I Buy Wednesday!"

Considering it was just a couple days, we accomplished a lot and did it all!! We walked the farm while Jennifer gave us a tour, we gathered eggs, we had a nice fire one night, we played a little poker--really little, but still enough that I had time to lose $3.85, we went to Montauck State Park and had lunch, shopped, Parvez cooked some delicious chicken (what else) one night AND we bought a cabin! Now that's a lot to cram in to 2 days!!

We did ALL of it in our masks. I just wish everyone would WEAR. THEIR. MASKS! It's just not that hard! It's totally worth it to me to get to spend time with my sisters!!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Mission Accomplished

Well, considering I didn't even know I was on a mission, I'm happy we accomplished it!

When Janet and I got to Salem, Janice showed us her current living situation.
Now don't get me wrong. This is a very nice RV. But--it's not meant to be a permanent home. There are too many things you have to deal with on an almost daily basis to make it inconvenient enough to NOT be a permanent home. 

Sooooo, Janice and Jennifer started showing us around at the cabin she was thinking of. The shell of the building is built by the Menonites. After that, they move it to Sawdust and Splinters for the finish work. 

After considering all the options, turns out that Sawdust and Splinters was getting ready to sell their workshop which is 16'x40". They are gutting it and re-doing everything.
The outside is going to be power washed and the front porch will be given a new coat of sealer.
The rails will be wrought iron. She decided how she wants the the inside to be laid out. She'll have to pick out everything. That could be a problem for someone who has trouble making decisions! Jennifer and I made her add another closet inside the front door. With an open floor plan, storage space will be at a premium! 
It's a father/son team who own the business. They seem really nice and honest. The "dad" is going to act as the facilitator for everything related to the cabin--foundation, septic, electric, water/well, etc. We don't even know the questions to ask, so we need someone like him to oversee it. Luckily, Janice will be putting it on Jennifer's farm in a beautiful location. It's going to be really nice and just perfect for her. I've already agreed to come back if they need more help in order to get it finished.

7 weeks from now, she should be all settled. I can't wait. I'm so happy for her!! Janice just needed a little nudging!! Jennifer told the "guy" that she called in the "big guns" (me) to help this along. That's when I realized I had a mission to accomplish! I'm sure Janice is pretty overwhelmed about how it all went down so quick, but it's going to be perfect for her and the two dogs. 

Oh, and her cat might even want to come back home!! As soon as they got to the farm, her cat, Daisy, moved in over at Jennifer's and hasn't left!! Actually, she might just think that Jennifer is Janice! Either which way, I'm just so happy that the twins are together again! They need to be together!!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Pecking Order

We got to Salem, MO on Tuesday evening around 5:30. Janice and Jennifer met us at the hotel. We went to a Mexican place for dinner where we could sit outside. That was nice.
I forgot to bring a jacket on the trip, so I grabbed a fleece from my car. I'm glad I had it as it was a bit nippy. The food was delicious, so we'll definitely go back. We had a nice evening of catching up. We hadn't seen each other since January. 

Janet and I did not go to the farm until Wednesday morning. We were greeted by the gatekeeper (Janice) and...
...5---count 'em---five dogs! Big dogs. Starting from the white one in the back going clockwise: Lola, (Janice), Mugsy, Zelda, Jack and Wilbur. The two cats were no where to be seen.
Quite a reception for sure!! We could hardly drive through because it felt like we might hit one of them. 

We spent a little time touring around the place. Even though Jennifer and Parvez have owned this place for 14 years, I had never been there. I usually see Jennifer in St. Louis where she still has a home. It's only been recently since she retired that she's moved to the farm permanently--during Covid. Parvez has been here several years already. Jennifer just went on weekends. Their daughter, Ranya and her husband, Marcelo live in the house. 

Janice is living here:

Now don't get me wrong. This RV is very nice. Butttt, it's not a permanent home. More on that in another post. 

I was most enthralled by the chickens.
Many of them have names, but I can't begin to remember them. Actually, I didn't really try.
I loved the chicken "lessons!" I had no idea. I love learning stuff. I guess I never really thought about chickens. I thought when the hen was ready to have chicks, she just laid a nest full of eggs and sat on them until they hatched. It's not like that at all. They only lay one egg a day. 
Then, Jennifer just piles them up and a hen will lay on them. After 21 days, some will hatch and some won't. The hen doing the sitting might not even be the birth mom to ANY of them! Still, they treat her like the mom and she treats them like her chicks. There are 3 moms and a total of 8 chicks.

I should have asked some more questions. Like, how did two eggs get in this nest. Maybe another hen came and laid a second one in the same spot. 

They are really beautiful.
I'm pretty sure these were the roosters. There are two others that are penned up since they are mean. Unfortunately for them, they are headed to the chopping block. 
The chickens are free range--meaning that they get to just roam all around the property. I tagged along with Jennifer to collect the eggs. I told her it's like a treasure hunt to which she said, "Or, an Easter egg hunt?" Duh, of course---exactly like that!!
Right around 6 p.m., they return all on their own to the hen house. It's pretty amazing. There even seems to be a pecking order when they go in. Some wait outside until it's their turn. 
Apparently, chickens are sort of like scavengers. They eat anything. Jennifer feeds them and counts them to make sure they are all there. 

I don't think I could ever have chickens because of my "counting" problem. I'd be constantly counting them. All day. Some time I'll have to do a post about counting. It's just certain things and certain times. Things that seem to need counting. 

Anyway, I learned a lot about chickens. But, I'm pretty sure I did not convey it all correctly here. I still have a lot to learn. It was fun! 

This was only the beginning of our adventures. More to come!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

What I Buy Wednesday

It all started when I placed an order at Lowes in Defuniak Springs, FL. 

When we were at the beach, we noticed that the dishwasher wasn't washing worth a crap. We ended up washing all the dishes by hand. Since our "guy" was coming to talk to us about the remodel, we asked him if he could take care of it. He said he'd do it this week before my brother got there. Yay!! We love our "people!" Also, we are replacing both ceiling fans, so I needed another one for the living room.

I went online to place the order. Our "guy" is going to pick everything up and take care of the installation. I could not find any place to leave his information. The last time we had him replace both toilets, he could not pick them up because the sale was in our name. 

Anyway, I decided to use their online "chat" helper. I started the process at 5:50 p.m. I got a message that said: "We are very popular right now. Get yourself a drink and we'll be with you shortly." I'd never seen that before but that it was a pretty nice way to let you know you might have a bit of a wait. So, I started dinner. I kept checking and there was no one to help. At 6:30, I sent another message and got the same message back from them. I managed to cook supper and eat it while still "waiting" for customer service. Finally, at 7:00, I sent another message saying how ridiculous this was. No response. Are you kidding me? I realized then that the chat service ended at 7 p.m. and they didn't even bother to send me a message!

I noticed that the actual store is open until 8 p.m. so I called. Within 5 minutes, it was all taken care of! Sheesh! If I'd known that I would have just made the call!

Customer service just ain't what it used to be!!

Anyway, now we're all set! Or so I thought! 

When our "guy" got there on Thursday to pick the dishwasher up, they told him that they didn't have it and it wouldn't be in until the following week. OMGosh! I was definitely worked up. Of course he couldn't wait around. Now I'm in danger of losing my installation too! 

I called the store and spoke to some person in customer service to try to get to the bottom of it. She was no help whatsoever. I was getting pretty tense and said, "We are getting ready to do a major renovation and had planned to use Lowe's. But if we can't rely on you to have what you say you have, we might have to re-think that!" To which she replied, "Mam, don't yell at me, I just work here!" 

What? Me yell? Reminds me of when the girls were little they'd report to Butch that I yelled at them. I am not a yeller, but I will admit, I have a "tone!" I must have been using my "tone" on this store clerk. In fact, I'm sure I did. 

I immediately asked to speak to the store manager. She just clicked me on hold. I thought, "Okay, here we go. As my punishment, I'm going to be waiting forever. She probably didn't even forward me anywhere." To my surprise, very quickly, some guy picked up. I explained the entire situation---probably in my "tone"---for sure. He was very nice and said that he was going to go out to the loading dock and look for my dishwasher. He asked for my phone number and vowed to call me back within 10 minutes. When I gave it to him, he asked, "Are you from Tennessee?" When I replied, "yes," he told me he was from Murfreesboro (small college town about 45 minutes from here). Well, that knocked the wind right out of my sails. I calmed down and thanked him for helping me.

True to his word, he had someone call me back to say that my dishwasher was waiting at customer service. Great! Back in business! Well, except for the fan I had ordered along with the dishwasher was not there. I decided I'd deal with that another time. 

Just when I thought it was all taken care of, I found out that my "guy" was not going to be able to go back that day. He said he'd get it the next day and install on Saturday. Fine with me.

On Saturday, I got the message that the water line hose was messed up and needed replacing. He didn't have time to get it and replace it on Saturday now. He said he'd take care of it on Sunday! EEEK! That's cutting it close. Matt and family were arriving on Sunday. 

Anyway, my "guy" got it done and sent me this picture:
I'm not surprised. He's never let us down yet. After all, the name of his company is "Gitter Done!" That pretty much says it all!!

Alls well that ends well!

PS That granite counter top is going! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Travel Tuesday

By the time you are reading this, I'll be on my way to St. Louis. This will be the first time I'm seeing my sisters since January. Actually, I'll be going to Salem, MO which is about 2 hours from St. Louis. This will be my first time seeing Jennifer and Parvez's farm. They've had it for a really long time---10 years or more, but usually when I come to St. Louis, I see Jennifer there. She retired right about the time of the lockdown so has moved permanently to the farm.

In preparation for this trip, I tried to get a Covid test to be on the safe side. The twins are being so careful---I certainly don't want to be the one to bring it to them. So on Friday, I went to CVS where I'd heard that you can get the test for free. I went inside and only had to wait about 5 minutes at the Minute Clinic. When I got inside, the nurse said that to get the Covid test, you have to be pre-screened through the app and make an appointment for the drive through. Since she couldn't help me, she suggested that I get my flu shot---also free. I did. She told me I was eligible for the "super" flu shot due to my age. I knew that from last year. She said that this year, the shot was good for 4 different strains of the flu. Great! Got the shot and was on my way.

After leaving, I went on the app. I started answering the questions. As it turns out, I wasn't eligible for the Covid testing unless I lied. I didn't want to do that because I felt like that might be jinxing myself. About the time I check "my doctor has made this a priority"---would be the time I actually came down with it! I also didn't want to lie about the symptoms.

Good thing, as later in the evening I started feeling a little "woozy." I knew it was from the flu shot because another friend had just told me about her experience last week. She said that she thought it was the power of suggestion because when she told someone else about it, they too had some side effects. Well, I'm here to say that there's no "power of suggestion" about it! That night, I woke up at 2:30 a.m. and felt horrible---feverish, weak and dizzy. By the time I woke up----8:30 a.m (can't remember the last time I slept that late), most of those symptoms were gone. By 11 a.m. I was back to normal. If I hadn't just had that shot, I would have assumed it was Covid, for sure!

Upon arrival in St. Louis, I'll be meeting my cousins, Chrissy and Judy for lunch. We plan to meet outside somewhere if possible.

I'll get to Salem in the early evening. We're planning to spend most of our time outside. I'm planning to wear my mask whenever we're inside. Janet is going with me, so we're getting a hotel room too.  I'm pretty sure I'll need a break from the twins 5 dogs and 2 cats! 2 dogs and 1 cat for Janice and  3 dogs and 1 cat for Jennifer! That's a lot of smells! Remember I have a sensitive nose. 

I'm looking forward to some time with the girls---after all, we had to cancel our sisters trip this year. 

I can't believe that I do not have a single picture with just the three of us. I'll be sure to remedy that this trip!! In the meantime, I cropped everyone else out of this one.
Barbara, Janice and Jennifer.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Monday Mystery

The mystery here is how this type of "quiz" works. There are so many different ones out there. I get that maybe they make the answers so general that they can apply to almost everyone. But this one really seems sort of specific---and not all that nice. You be the judge---just those of you who really know me, of course!!

So, I had to pick three colors. Now to be fair, that was hard to do. I like a lot of colors. I didn't try to do it again and choose 3 other colors. So this was just my first pick. Pretty interesting.

To be honest, I don't consider myself particularly brave. Like I'll tackle what I have too, but won't necessarily enjoy doing it!

So anyway, how in the heck do they come up with these things? Oh, and yes, I sometimes can be blunt. It's definitely a flaw!!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Five Things Thursday

Just. a few things that I've been thinking about lately.

1. Did you know that 13,000 hands touch a gas pump each month? Now that's a scary thought even without Covid!

2. On one of my walks last week, I saw this.
What the heck? Is something being pumped in or sucked out?

3. Another puzzle in the books.
This one is a Clue puzzle---taken from the game. It's a very long story with all the usual suspects, Mrs. Peacock, Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet---the problem is by the time you finish the puzzle, you can't remember the story or what you are supposed to solve! Still fun to do.

4. I'll be seeing these beauties next week.
I'm most excited to see the little babies. Janet and I will be going to Salem to spend a couple days with Janice and Jennifer.

5. A question for you. Do you know what the name of that little plastic piece on your shoestring is called? We didn't either. It came up during a trivia game last week. It's called an Aglet. I'd like to think I'll remember it if that ever comes up again, but it's doubtful!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

What I Buy Wednesday

Actually, I didn't buy much this week. We didn't go to the outlets at the beach which we normally like to do. I did go shopping on Monday and picked up a couple things for the condo---which I'll share as we go along.

My first stop on Monday was a drive through Starbucks. I was listening to the Broadway channel with Christine Pedi. She was talking about how Broadway is still completely shut down. This means all of the people who make their living there have had no money coming in. They have all lost their health insurance since they are not working. It's pretty scary and makes me feel so bad for them. We have re-booked our NYC trip for April and I've already purchased the tickets for The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman. I can't wait! 

Anyway, I was soooo "in" to what Cjhristine was saying that when I pulled up to the window at Starbucks, the barista asked me if I'd place my order. Oh My Gosh!!! I completely forgot!! She was really nice and took my order rather than making drive back around. I told her that I wanted to pay for the person behind me since they had to wait longer because of my mistake. 

When I got me tea, it was like this:
No straw! When we were at the beach, I got a Starbucks like this too. They had a sign up that you could request a straw if you wanted one. I thought it was a "thing" at the beach because they wanted to make sure that the plastic didn't end up in the ocean. I did not know that it's now a "thing" across all the Starbucks. It's okay with me. Drinking out of that little slot is going to take some getting used to for sure. I dribbled a couple times!

Okay, I'm dragging this out way too long. As I pulled out of Starbucks, I was waiting at the light. A gal in the car next to me was waving at me. I lowered the window and she said, "Thanks!! You made my day!!" I explained my mistake and was happy that it made her happy!! You just never know!

Well, I guess that's it for today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Seen at the Beach!

We had a fabulous time at the beach. It wasn't too hot or crowded. Most of the time we had the pool to ourselves. 

This was the sunrise on the first morning I walked. This is over a little lake--obviously not the beach.
This was the prettiest bush.
The berries are so pretty. I have no idea if they are edible. I doubt it though.
I have a plant identifier app on my phone (of course I do!). But this came up as an unknown species. Huh? Surely any reliable app should be able to figure this one out! I'd say this app lets me down about 25% of the time!
When the girls were working, we got out of the way. We had errands and also did a little geo-caching. This one is tiny!
Still, you can see that the log is rolled up inside.
Butch was able to sign it and then get it back inside--sometimes a little tricky. 
We had a couple days on the beach. It wasn't too crowded and people were social distancing. Stephanie and Mindy got in the ocean, but noticed the jellyfish. They promptly got out before being stung. Then, the flies started biting! So annoying. You just never know what the beach will be like. Most of the time, it's beautiful. There was a nice breeze. I hate it when it's so darn hot.
The dragonflies were everywhere. The males are pretty---this one is alive. Mindy was asking Stephanie all kinds of questions about them---as if she's a science expert. Well, she was a teacher, so it stands to reason that she might know something about them. We saw them mating and landing in the pool. Butch tried to rescue some of them because it seemed they would drown as there  were many dead ones around. Curious, I looked them up. They actually land in the water to lay their eggs. They even fly around while mating. That's called "tandem linkage." Who knew! We watched a fight between two males over a female. 
Stephanie was freaked out that one of them landed on her flip flop after the fight. Turns out, it died there! Anyway, we had quite discussion about them.

We walked to a place down the street called The Growler Garage.
You get to choose a tasting of 6 different beers. 
They mark them so you'll know which one you like the best. Butch and I had a Bloody Mary.
This little guy stopped by for a visit. You cannot tell how tiny he is in this photo.
Here's a better view so you can understand the scale.
He was so cute and didn't seem to be a bit afraid of us. There are lizards everywhere down there.

Steph wasn't happy that he was climbing on her beer. I guess he wanted a drink! We were enjoying the beautiful weather outside. This little guy was a welcome surprise!

A few weeks ago, my niece, Bridget took this photo from our back porch.
On the way to drop Steph and Mindy at the airport, we stopped at The Donut Hole. I had to take a picture. Look at the size of those cinnamon rolls and bear claws! They dwarfed the regular size donuts below. I really wanted that cinnamon roll, but even though it could feed 4, I didn't want the challenge!

All in all, it was a great trip to the beach. We had some great seafood and were able to sit outside. We all have our favorite places now, so sometimes it's hard to narrow it down. 

Now that we're going to do some remodeling, we'll be going down a little more frequently to make sure there are no miscommunications. I can't wait! I've already been shopping! More on that later!