Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ordering Bruschetta

I just read a funny little article that I wish would be printed in all waiter/waitress handbooks. It was about being annoyed about being "corrected" by wait staff when one orders bruschetta, which is pronounced broo-SKet-uh, not broo-SHet-uh (ch is almost always a hard K sound in Italian, cc is usually the CH sound--I don't know Italian, except the important things--how to order food!). The waiters ALWAYS say it the wrong way, which I don't mind, but they do insist on telling me I'm saying it wrong. I never argue, as it is always a bad idea to make someone angry who has the opportunity to spit in your food. Still, I do wish they would stop telling me I'm wrong!

Still working away at my antiques, starting to think fall, here in the midst of the horrible heat wave. Cool breezes and pumpkins sound pretty good already and I haven't even had my fireworks and 4th of July hot dog yet!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Goodbye to Carolyn Appleby

We are devoted I Love Lucy fans in this house, Grace and I especially can quote from the show and answer trivia questions without a problem. Everyone loves the Chocolate Factory, but my favorite is when Lucy and Ethel play Martians to advertise a movie. At the end when Fred and Ricky dress up as Martians to scare them, Lucy's scream is the funniest darn thing I've ever seen. We rewind it and watch it over and over. Just saw the news that Doris Singleton, aka Carolyn Appleby has passed on, she was a favorite character, sad day.

I am still antiquing and listing and waiting for everyone to get done with vacations and start looking at ebay again, it sure has been slow, but kind of a nice break at that, just hope it doesn't last too much longer! I don't know why I'm in such a laundry mood, maybe because laundry happens every day, I really should take the time to decorate my own laundry room, but having fun making up these fun items. I just got an 1890s cutter quilt that I've been using, pretty pretty blues.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Homage to the Fruit Cellar

Grandma Hawhee really had a fruit cellar, just like in the Wizard of Oz, you went out the back kitchen door and the old wood door right there in a little hill in the back yard, stone steps down to the cold cellar where burlap bags of potatoes and onions and the jars of canned goods awaited. This is my little homage to grandma, love when something needed was still pretty. My foods are fake, but look pretty darn real, so you can have the pretty forever and not worry about spoilage! These will be $24 to $28 each (the faux foods were a bit pricey!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Artistic Vision Found, Out of Control Crafting Commences

Car lag from driving to Clarinda lasts forever, I was so tired last week couldn't get a thing done, looked at Gatherings and saw the fall wonders arriving and had a panic--I'm not even done with summer and 4th of July stuff, which is just around the corner! Not an idea in my head of what to do.... then inspiration and just couldn't stop, think I have about 100 new items ready!

These are my Shaker garden goods; dry blue and white bowls and bread boards that were supposed to have red companions, but time to admit it is not going to happen...; a few black milk paint goods that turned out lovely; and up above lots of just plain prairie prims!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The True Gentlemen or Is Chivalry Dead?

Yesterday was just kind of awful, mostly due to encountering a rather horrible man at the post office. My day starts well, I have sales, woohoo! Then starts the hectic trying to find boxes, get things packed securely enough so the postal workers don't break them, but not so securely that the customer can't get them unwrapped. It takes a couple hours. I take a minute to water my flowers and CRASH! The statue you see behind the flag falls over, smashing the blue luminaria to bits and her head goes rolling down the driveway. It is hot, I have to pick up the heavy pieces and get them in the trash, then back to loading the packages. We drive to the post office. Grace goes in ahead of me, she is carrying 2 boxes, Anna has 2 and I have 3, all very large boxes. A man walks in after Grace, ahead of me. I peer over my stack of boxes to find my way to Grace and join her in line. This guy actually yells at me "Hey, what do you think you are doing?" Sweat pouring down my face, I try to point to Grace who is standing in line in front of him (not an easy feat when you are laden with large boxes) and say "this is my daughter". He keeps yelling that he would excuse me if I only had one thing to mail, but it was really rude of me to expect to hold him up while I mailed everything I had. I told him to please go ahead of us and the jerk refused, like a pouty 2 year old. So, I guess one is not allowed to be with one's family now when you are waiting in line and being a gentleman and actually helping a woman and her children is out of the question. What really gets me is I am sure he has not a clue of what a nasty mean person he is, and totally sees me as the one in the wrong here. One more mean man story, wondering if this is an Iowa City phenomenon. The girls and I are standing in line in a very crowded coffee shop. We are by the door and someone is trying to leave so I step back to make room for them, not realizing someone is behind me trying to get to the door and I bump into him and he spills his coffee (in a to go cup with no lid....) I say "I'm so sorry.." and start to say I didn't realize he was behind me, but he actually screams at me that he's sure I am sorry in a very sarcastic mean loud voice. I was so shaken I got the girls and left, I mean, honestly, how is this acceptable behavior? I'm really not a rude person, I hold doors open for people and say please and thank you and excuse me and I'm sorry, and this is what I get back. I really do know that these guys are the exception and not the rule, just wondering why I'm the one meeting them!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Away From Civilization

In Clarinda, my only connection to the outside world is this 1930s am radio that my father in law restored for me, you have to turn it on and wait for it to warm up, just like the old days. No tv except for I Love Lucy tapes, real pioneer living! I took some pictures around the house, my radio with my Huntsman fruit crate label and Caffe Greco canister, a souvenir from Rome, a long long ago trip. The thing I love about Rome is how things are there forever. I read Goethe's Italian Journey before I went and he hung out at the Caffe Greco, as later did Buffalo Bill. Can't beat a clientele like that. The brass plaque hangs on my back door, it's history is it is from a shop on the Via Margutta, which is where Gregory Peck was supposed to have his apartment in "Roman Holiday". From Goethe to Buffalo Bill to Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, that's the kind of history I like.

I love my kitchen, lots of light and room to move even though I don't have a work triangle, more like a work maze, but good cooking gets done there nonetheless. We had a heck of a week there, lovely to have the girls, but everything else just went wrong wrong wrong. Front porch post was rotted, took it out to replace and find the staircase is all rotted behind it, must be torn out and replaced. Lumber yard cut steps wrong, had to return and my husband backed into his car with my car while trying to do so. Lots of damage to both cars, say goodbye to savings...Lawn mower crapped out, new weed sprayer broke, paint peeling on the house, plans for horseback riding cancelled, go to my sister's to swim, she's sick (on her birthday no less, trooper that she is, she had the girls in anyway to swim), other friends have other plans. Good day was my other sister came to visit and we had a really nice time. Always a spare sister at my house!

Travel Photos

These are a few pictures I took on a day we drove through Missouri. This is how good we are at planning. Friday, I said I wanted to go to Omaha. James said he didn't want to go, was going to paint the back porch. I decided to stay home and rest. Saturday, I take Saeri and Suzuka to the Big Band breakfast, come home, James says let's go to Omaha after all. We get in the car, drive half way there and say "We really don't want to deal with Omaha traffic" and turned south instead of north and drove almost to Kansas City before we stopped, lots of little antique shops to see, car full of goods that will get added to the giant bread board extravaganza in the basement. Oh, if you love roller coasters, I suggest a drive on Missouri back roads, up you go and down you go and hope a cow isn't sitting over the next hill that you can't see the other side of until you get to the top. It was fun!

Another Glenn Miller Festival Come and Gone

We had a great time with our new "daughters" Saeri and Suzuka, they were so sweet and spoke English enough that we could talk and get to know each other. They called us mom and dad, and I really felt like we were. They helped me fix dinner for a small dinner party with the neighbors, it was wonderful having extra hands, and they took lots of pictures while we chopped and stirred. (It was darn good too, I tossed linguine in melted butter and fresh parmesan and threw in asparagus and cherry tomatoes).

Their orchestra is the Tamana Girls High School Band, they are consumate professionals at just 17 years of age. I took some video of their performance, but still trying to figure out how to add one. In the meantime, I have still photos. The statue is in my front yard (all dry from our current Iowa dust bowl climate) with my daughters. Saeri is the one wearing glasses, Suzuka (you put the accent on the KA) is on the left. Next is at Betty's Dream coffee shop (you can just see Betty in the back making the lattes--she is the best cook, we went there 3 times for lunch and ordered a cherry pie for the week), then just before we sent them off home, notice the red eyes all around, we had lots of tears at goodbye. Suzuka's mother, Miyumi posed with my girls too. The next photo of the girl in the pink shirt is a nice story. The Tamana girls live in southern Japan, so did not have the tsunami, but this girl is from the north, her town was destroyed. They had a wonderful video at the concert showing the devastation, then a year later, the town rebuilt, such a testament to the hard work and determination of the Japanese. She is a trumpet player and the Glenn Miller society sent new instruments for students who had lost everything. The Tamana girls sent the instruments on, they got to talk to each other on Skype when she got her new trumpet, then she joined the band in Clarinda to play with them this year--lots of tears at that too!

We got to see the Glenn Miller orchestra also, they were outstanding. We stopped to get cds signed from the singer and band leader and Saeri had them sign her book bag. The singer had these diamond looking shoes that my girls were ooohing and ahhing over, she told them "Jimmy Choos, honey, you've got good taste", she was funny.

I have lots more pictures on the way!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday in Dubuque

We went to visit my in-laws in Dubuque this Saturday and stopped at the favorite shops on the way. Of course, first stop is Gatherings, where we ooohed and aaahed at all the lovelies. She has this most gorgeous sugar bucket with old blue paint and a big bread board with old blue paint that made me very sad at the state of my finances that we couldn't have them right now. What did I buy? Bread boards, because you can really never have too many.... Next was the Whiffle Tree, run by about the nicest people on the planet. There I found some beautiful dough bowls. When Grace was little, she used to sit in the big armchairs by the counter and chat with the owners as I shopped. Last stop was Plaza Mall in Dyersville, where I thought I'd go home empty handed, but new dealers in the back room! That is where I found the good finish things.

In Dubuque, we took a drive around some of the old fancy schmancy neighborhoods. Usually, we just go to his parents, a post war working class neighborhood. His mom and dad built their ranch home in the 50s and got in the local paper for having such a modern and forward looking home. It is all blonde woodwork, and very 1950s. All the family antiques went to us, everyone else in the family said "Elaine and Jim like that crap, give it to them." Sometimes it is good to be the only antiquers on board. As for the fancy neighborhoods, OH MY GOD! These houses are huge, gorgeous, they have grounds, not lawns! My husband said "Well, this is where the doctors live". I said "You do realize you are a doctor and our 1400 square foot ranch home would fit in these peoples garage." He told me I should have married a specialist. I reminded him that he was actually a stock boy at K-Mart when I married him, just knew he had potential.

I put the goods in the shop, even though I am leaving and won't be shipping stuff until next week, hoping the customers understand. Clarinda should be fun, we are looking forward to meeting our houseguests and seeing family, will be back with photos next week!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Getting Organized

I'm sure this won't last, my work style is "start a project, throw it off to the side when I get bored and find it again 6 months later when I dig through my pile of rubble". My husband put up industrial shelves in the basement and this is just one of them, there are 6 all together! I spent all day putting all the rolling pins, bread boards, bowls, mashers together and the basket is completely full of spoons, then little odds and ends scattered about. Milk paints are all on one shelf, used to be in about 6 different places, so I was always looking for some color and not finding it, we'll see if this works! Once, Martha Stewart let the film crew in her office and it looked just like my mess, she had to step over piles of projects to get to her desk, I cherish that episode!

I must say, when every thing was all over the place, I had no idea how many bread boards I actually had (always knew the dough bowls were out of control), sad to say, I still want more!