Sunday, August 29, 2010

Arts and Crafts Festival West Virginia Style

I had a wonderful time in the mountains just like always. It was even sweeter because it was in the low 50's at night and low 70's in the day time. I am tired of North Carolina heat and it was a sweet reprieve.

I have been going to this Appalachian Festival for over 20 years and I truly enjoy getting to see the handmade items as well as my friends. It is really sad to me though that each year there are more imports and less and less of the handmade treasures.

My favorite booth has always been my friend, Lesa, from Fayetteville, WV. She has a cabin built by her and her husband in her back yard where she sells her primitive wares and antiques. She makes her goodies from branches (bittersweet berries) this time of the year gathered from the mountain behind her house. She adds moss and wild limbs to stuff and stitches pumpkins, ghosts, scarecrows and the like. She adds twigs and lights to rusted buckets, etc. You just have to see it to believe and appreciate it. Her hands prove it is her work. She shreds them with all she does but her face shows how much she loves it. She worked over 12 hours the day before the festival opened setting up her booth. I went a bit early and took pictures before the shoppers started "tearing it apart" buying her goodies. They stand in line for her things, they are so unique and people come for miles.
The pictures will tell you more but they don't do justice to the beauty of it. I wouldn't blame her if she quit going to festivals and just sold from the cabin in her yard. So much work, heavy lifting and long days for her but I sure enjoyed seeing it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Come and Visit I Need To Tell You Something....

I need a light onto my path:

Candle Pictures, Images and Photos

As you well know I have been having a terrible time trying to post pictures to share with you. I finally get some to post and they have print all over them so that you can't enjoy the picture nor can you read the print. Other than all of that I am doing such a great job with this blogging mystery that I thought I would start a second blog. I know most people think if you can't do something well, don't do it all but is that my philosophy? Evidently not because I am not doing well on blog one and weeks ago I put up Blog 2 figuring practice makes perfect and people might be more forgiving if they knew my heart was in the right place (Blog 2 is about spiritual experiences, more or less).

I am confessing all of this to you (when you may not have any interest in this story at all) to tell you I did a post tonight for Finders Keepers and I was so proud because guess what? I got a U Tube thing to work on it with pictures changing all the time with the music. I was patting myself on the back. I hollered for my husband and bragged about how gifted I was becoming at all this. He was so impressed and saying nice things to encourage me.

Then I look down and I see that I have put both posts under Blog 2, nothing under Finders Keepers. My Mama always said if you do something wrong, just face the music and get it over with. Now, I could have just let this never be known to you guys out there because how could you possible know I didn't mean to put 2 posts on Blog 2? But I knew and I couldn't sleep without telling you about it.

If you would be so kind and have any interest at all in seeing what turned out fairly well, come visit me now on Blog 2. It is listed under my "favorite blogs" (well it needed to be on somebodies list so I put it on mine) somewhere on this page. It is listed as "spiritually inspired". If you are not too tired by the time you get there, I pray that you will be (spiritually inspired).

Stay tuned, who can predict what I may do next. I am trusting I can't mess up the whole internet by hitting the wrong key but if I do, you know I'll confess.

I feel better, I'll be able to sleep now. Confession is truly good for the soul:)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

West Virginia Photos Takes Me Home

West Virginia Pictures, Images and Photos

West Virginia Pictures, Images and Photos

West Virginia Pictures, Images and Photos

west virginia Pictures, Images and Photos

Almost Heaven West Virginia-I'm Going Home

When August comes I start longing for Fall and the mountains of West Virginia. We lived in the Beckley area for 11 years and there is a wonderful Appalachia Arts and Craft Festival there every August. I have gone to it for over twenty years. I get to see many friends that are so talented and set up beautiful and creative booths there to sell their wares. I get hugs, we share quick memories and laughter and sometimes a tear or two because it has been so long since we have seen each other.

I always said they made us sing "Oh Those West Virginia Hills" too often in elementary school and that is what pulls us back to the mountains. I know that it is much more than that. I have lived in many different states and I still feel there is something different about WV. Maybe it is the old fashioned ways of some people there, like knowing your neighbors well and pitching in to help when there is a crisis. But I have seen that in other places too. I'm not sure there are words for what I long for when I head into those mountains but I find it and it is always worth the trip.

I will come home with my car full of Autumn and Christmas hand made goodies and my heart full of new memories and my spirit refreshed from having been back once again. I hope you have a place, a space, a home that does that for you. Everybody needs one.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pilot Mountain Peddlers and Watermelon

Don't you love living in a place where there is an old torn cardboard sign at the end of a dirt road that says "watermelons for sale"? I really do. I drove down the lane and took a picture of the wagon with the melons. Each one had been priced with a magic marker. Tomatoes were 6/$1.00 and potatoes (maybe 3-4 lbs) were $1.00. How can you beat that. It was the honor system with a jar right beside the wagon to put your money in.

I wish I could sell antiques and old stuff that way. I went to a yard sale one time. The wife had gotten sick and her husband was running it. He put an empty coffee can out in the garage, cut a hole in the lid and just told all of us to take what we wanted and put whatever it was worth to us in the can. I think most people paid more than normal, he was just so overwhelmed yet kind.

After hitting about 5 yard sales and finding a couple small treasures, I headed to Pilot Mountain Peddlers where Shari (from Homespun and Primitives) and I share a booth. I tried to take a couple pictures. The flash worked but uh, from looking at them I think it was a delayed reaction. Some pictures are in our booth others are from up front in the store. There is going to be an Open House in September. I can't wait. It is always such fun, the place is buzzing with excited gals and the refreshments are homemade and yummy. Dates will follow and I hope you can drop by then or anytime.

Anyone hunting for old crocks, old boxes, old anything? I may have it and I am in the mood to sell cheap. All it takes to get me there is to work in the garage a few days!!

Here's hoping we can all tell something from these pictures. I am getting embarrassed to keep trying. I don't know if I need a new camera, new batteries every time I click the button or simply a new photographer.

Enjoy your weekend. Fall is coming.....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fall Tree at Just Plain Country

Today I went back to Just Plain Country in Walnut Cove, NC to put out more treasures for the weekend traffic and to see if I could get a picture of the outside front of the store and of the "Fall Tree" I decorated with handmade Black Eyed Susans handmade by Shari and Homespun and Primitives. I got the pictures and I think I down loaded them onto the computer. The real challenge will be to see if they show up on this post or not.

I had a great day. I went to JPC and stayed a couple hours talking with friends and shopping a bit too. A great combination I must say. I have met some of the greatest people in antique malls and craft shows. Really good people with warm hearts. Then I came home and my husband met me in the driveway saying let's go out to lunch. We did. He went home and I went and walked around the Indian Pow Wow that just came to town. I think this is the fourth year. They set up at the American Legion. I love it. There are usually 8-10 tribes represented. They have opening ceremonies and a dance that is very moving as they honor the earth. I love to hear the drums and the flute music. The jewelry is wonderful especially the pieces that are made by hand with tiny beads. It surely takes a patient soul to work with so many tiny, tiny beads. I enjoy seeing it all, hearing it all and smelling the food that is cooking and being sold. It is a moving experience.

I came home and people came to see an old white kitchen cabinet I have for sale. My husband was worried that they would buy it and I would have no place to put the dishes that are in it. They didn't but maybe someone will and I will pack up the dishes until I have my yard sale in September. I am always selling something. You would think he would be use to it but alas, he is not.

Tomorrow will be another full and interesting day as I get up early and head out to yard sales to see what is out there. Wonder if I should take pictures of the goodies, probably not. The sellers would probably be worried I am a tax collector or something and we all know that my picture taking talent is not to good anyway.

I hope your days are just as fun and interesting as mine are to me. Thanks for taking a few minutes to sit and visit with me. You are always welcome here. I love to read your comments and know what you are up to!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vintage Country Living and Country Home Magazines

I was reading someone's blog a couple weeks ago and she took pictures of her stash of old CL and CH magazines (you know back when they had beautiful photographs, wonderful articles and less than 1/2 the magazine was advertisements). Anyway this gal had several hundred (a closet full) and when she wanted inspiration she pulled them out and read them again.

She said she knew there were others out there like her and she was I am. I don't have near as many and guess what I am willing to sell mine.

I have copies from the 1980's, 1990's 2000's. If you are interested in any, please let me know. They are $1.00 per copy and postage will be just the actual shipping (which is still decent but slow) or first class or priority, you choose. I can tell you what the cost is when you decide how many you want and give me your address. You can send me a money order or use Paypal.

Any body out there interested? Magazines are in good shape. Some may have mailing address marked or cut out.

Any questions?? Comments?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just Plain Country, A Bargain and Camera Lessons?

I woke up rearing to go this morning. I was a woman with a mission. Get over to Just Plain Country at Walnut Cove, take in a primitive "Christmas" tree, put white lights on it, decorate it with handmade black eyed Susans (by the hands of Shari at Homespun and Primitives. I did fine up to the part where I wanted to take a picture so I could show you the results of my efforts. My camera would not work. The batteries were dead again. I had taken one picture of the "roof" of the building so that you could see the original hardware sign and the JPC under it. Just in case you ever come to Walnut Cove, I wanted the building to look familiar. I went on to take pictures of all the goodies placed outside the building and then my tree. I noticed the camera was reallllly slow but hey the green light came on so I thought I was in business.

I was NOT. But hey, there are two pictures of a huge basket of eucalyptus that I got at a garage sale a couple weeks ago for $2. I had wanted to include that with a post I did way back then but it didn't happen. Today it did.

So, I have 2 pictures of the cheap basket and one of a sign and unless I am surprised that is it. I have had better photo days. To tell you the truth the tree didn't look all that great anyway. Nothing to brag about or show off so maybe it was divine intervention that the camera didn't work:) The tree was another garage sale "bargain" and was shedding a few limbs as I worked with it. Shari's flowers did look beautiful though. You should check them out on her site....if you can't find them just holler. It will be the blind leading the blind for the most part but I can find my way to her blog most of the time. I love her stuff, Professionally done and that is with a capital P.

The rest of my day: I worked in the garage for an hour (trying to do that everyday) digging all the Fall stuff out to sell and organizing Christmas stuff. I have forgotten half the stuff that is there. I don't have a clue what I paid for it so never quite sure I make a profit.....well, sometimes I have a pretty good idea.

I bought a box of peaches from the produce market, the owner told me there was 17 lbs in there and sold them to me 1/2 price because of bumps and bruises. I have never done this before but today was the day to try. I peeled, sugared and lemon juiced (just like the guy on the website said to do) oh and sliced and then put them in bags in the freezer. If I have learned to use my camera any better by January and I am ready to make a peach cobbler, I will take a picture and show you.

Some days it just feels good to laugh at my life and realize it could have been a whole lot worse and not anguish about how much better it might have been.

Thank you for visiting with me today and every day that you come by. Reading your comments always brightens my day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Home Is Where The Heart Is. Is Mine HERE?

We moved to NC 8 years ago after taking early retirement in West Virginia. We bought the first house a year or so before we moved down here and had the Realtor rent it out until we came. We thought we were ready to downsize but alas after losing 1000 square feet we were pretty miserable. A year later we moved again, gained back the square footage but it was a split foyer and my knees were not liking all the ups and downs. Four years later we started looking again (remember I was a Realtor, we use to flip houses trying to get out of debt, and I may be part gypsy). Anyway, I have always been fairly fascinated by moving across town, across the country, etc. until we headed to NC that is. But that is another post.

When we were first looking at houses I went out for a drive alone through the country one day and I found a road that looked interesting. I turned down into the neighborhood and I admired how these folks could see the mountain range from their front porch and I thought I'll bet there is never a house on this street for sale unless somebody dies. It was that kind of place.

OK, 5 years later and two houses later, we are out looking. My husband is not so fond of moving again so he says this is IT. Last house for us. Make up my mind I can live in it forever before we buy it. We have looked at dozens upon dozens of houses. Can we find THE one? No way. I am even embarrassed with this Realtor of ours (even though she has already made 2 commissions off us and about to make the third). Then guess what happens? I see a house for sale on THE street from 5 years ago. I call the Realtor, I grab the husband and we all meet at the house. I am oohing and ahhing all the way there. "The trees are 100 plus years old, waiting for swings, there is a full front porch, we can see the mountain, there's a screened in back porch, etc." We go in the house, it is empty. The doctor that had lived there has already bought another house 200 miles from here. I HATE the house. The carpet is blue faded in places to pink/purple. The blinds on the windows (every single one of them) are light baby blue (really). It starts raining and looking out the window I see the yard turning into mud. I sit on the stairway to the second floor and tears start running down my face. The Realtor is following my husband from room to room while he is raving about how he can see the mountains from every window and how the family room in the basement will be a great art studio and a fine place for his organ (he composes music and paints). Finally the Realtor (who after being with me through all the houses and moves) notices that I am missing. She comes to find me and says this is it, THE house, it has everything you told me you want, master bedroom, laundry, etc. are all on first floor, it is a Cape Cod with a basement. Let's get the paperwork going she says. I say, uh, notice the tears, I don't like it here. She says to get off my rump and realize that this does not HAVE to be the last house, that I am not dead yet and to quit thinking that way. She tells me to suck it up and get over the "death" thing, the last house thing. She is getting on my nerves (I am in the middle of a crisis here).

We leave. We keep looking at other houses. My husband brings up THE house about every 3 days and I explain to him nicely the first couple of times that it is not going to happen. Three months or so pass, we still haven't found anything. Realtor says to us after showing us the 112th house, why don't we go back over and look at THE house. I feel like she is sucking up to my husband and I am out numbered, we go. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, we walk in, the carpet has been replaced, all the blinds are removed, every room has been painted SW Antique White. The violins and harps start playing and I say "where's the paper work?"

The rest is history, well maybe herstory:) I know, you already hear another post coming with the rest of everybody's story, right?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Surviving Cancer, 12 Years and Counting!!

Please read my story and visit with me on my "Spiritually Inspired" blog by clicking on the blog site on my list of favorites on the right side of your screen.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments and questions so much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just Plain Country Walnut Cove, NC

Isn't Walnut Cove a pretty name for a tiny village. Always makes me think of the TV show "Murder She Wrote", what was the name of the cove there?

Walnut Cove is only about 30 minutes from Winston-Salem. There are produce stores, restaurants, grocery stores, a couple banks, library, park, gas stations and one huge 2 story antique and crafter's mall with over 150 vendors selling their treasures. I have 2 booths there plus 3 walls and 2 bookcases there. It is a wonderful place. Last night I was getting some creative insights and so this morning I headed over there with a plan.

Don't get in any woman's way when she has a mission, right? Right. I wanted to rearrange everything. I pulled out spring/summer stuff. I marked down anything that was in my way and I started adding 7 boxes, 2 huge shopping bags and everything else that I had carried in. It was work for the first couple hours and then I started seeing the light. It is fun when you get to the creative part, the fun part and leave the work and lifting and carrying behind. Did I tell you it was nearly 100 degrees and I was sweating like a lawn sprinkler carrying in all the junk (treasures)?

Now here is the fun part. I was done, I was tired, dripping and did I mention exhausted but I always find that last ounce of energy to shop from the other 149 vendors. It is only the polite thing to do, right? And I deserved to shop after all that hard work. That is how I see it anyway. So, I am heading down the aisle looking to the right and left at peoples goodies. I am oohing and ahhing and getting to that zen state of mind when I hear someone yelling my name. The manager tells me there is a woman up front that wants to know if I will give her a better price on the huge round glass canister jars (with tin lids I might add)? Will she take them both is my first question. Depends on the price is always the answer:)

I met the buyer and low and behold I recognized her from about 6 months ago when the same thing had happened. She knows I wheel and deal and she was tickled to catch me. I sold her the two canisters (cheap as in from $40 each to $15 each) and a huge doll and 2 rooster canisters (I guess she likes canisters), a huge bag of abc blocks, and blocks shaped liked houses that spelled "welcome". I thought when I put those out that they had gone out of style maybe 10 years ago but maybe not.

I am no longer tired, I am elated and it gets better. Another shopper is watching from the sideline because we have filled up the counter and it is kind of obvious that we are on a roll here. She kind of sneaks up to the ear and asked if I will give her deals like that. I nearly shouted in her ear....YOU BET! She bought 2 flower sprays, a Snowbaby, a Willowtree angel, 2 handmade Raggedy Ann pillows, a pottery bowl (made in NC...nice), a Fall dishcloth, a signed mug, a Lang box, a hand turned wood vase, a comforter set with shams and dust ruffle. The counter was full again. Both the women shoppers were laughing and talking with each other as they shopped and me, well I was trying to stay calm and sane but I was beyond elated.

I don't even remember the work now, not really. I am really tickled to make the money but you know most of the time I don't get to meet the people who buy the things I put out. That was the treat the thrill of it all to interact with them. To see which things made their eyes light up. To see their happiness at getting more for less. I loved it.

You know at an antique mall you aren't dealing with corporate buyers that buy by the truck load, you are dealing with little old women like me (well maybe some are men and most are younger) but we just love looking for things (you know, treasures) hoping that you will like them, buy them so we can go again. It is a strange life but an addictive one that provides us with therapy we don't have to lie down to receive. Keep shopping at your local antique malls or come on over to Just Plain Country. Ask for me, I'd love to meet you and if I'm not there? Ask them to call me for a better price:)

Disclaimer: This is not a paid for advertisement. I am just a real person, not an actress or anything. Just a happy blogger bubbling over on to the internet!

Fall Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finding a Heart Friend??

I was headed in one direction with this post but it seems I hit a speed bump and had to change course. Who knows why?

We moved here 8 years ago to retire. We had lived in our house in WV for 11 years so it was a big deal to go through everything. It is such an emotional job to move as well as the physical work. Everything I touched brought back memories of so many people and times shared. Time passed and we got it done and the moving van showed up and then the second moving van had to show up. Seems that had underestimated how much stuff there was to load. Good thing the price was in writing.

I have moved many, many times. For years we flipped houses, trying to make money and keep getting better houses. It was a plan and now looking back on it I wonder just how wise it really was. We have friends that have been in the same house for 30 years or have never moved. Their house is paid off, their furniture has not been handled by over zealous movers a dozen times. They know their neighbors back and forth. Their kids went to the same schools all their lives. I suppose there is something to be said for all of our choices in life. Pros and Cons.

This was the hardest move I have ever made. I am not sure exactly why. We took early retirement to move to North Carolina so there was no job waiting for either of us. We had one daughter still at home but she was in junior high and there was no interaction with other parents like you have in elementary school. Most of the people we met were deeply entrenched with their friends of 30 years and their families are in the area. We knew no one and the doors did not look open.

I did what I have always done. Went to yard sales. I started in Indiana in the 60's when a neighbor told me all about them. Furnished houses, clothed kids, got good stuff cheap and another benefit....I learned the area. I know where streets are and neighborhood names in 6 states:) Besides that, we joined a church, I got involved with Hospice. Now I know all sorts of folks. I cannot got anywhere without hearing someone say my name and waving to me or visiting for a few minutes. I love that, I need that. It took a couple years for that to happen and until it did I felt invisible wherever I went. So, it sounds like everything fell into place and I have every reason to be content, right? Wrong. The only part of my life that still has a hole in it is the part that is waiting for a "heart" friend.

Do you have one? That crazy friend that will giggle with you until you about wet your pants or cry with you until there are no tears left. You know the one that doesn't judge you, keeps every secret. She will tell you to come on over whether her house is clean or not and whether her hair is a mess or not. Every one has had one sometime in her life, haven't they? I have been here 8 years and I am still looking for her. It must be tons harder to find her when you are 62 than 21. It is for me. I have three girls, one is in college two hours from home and the other two life 300-1200 miles from me. They are wonderful friends but they are not here and after all they are my daughters.

How did you find your bosom buddy?

This is what was on my mind this evening. I would like to hear from you. I hope you enjoyed visiting with me and hearing my story. Now don't you fret over me not having this special friend. I have a wonderful life. I am full of joy, have a great marriage and am always up to some exciting adventure (in my book anyway). I have faith that she will show up just at the right moment and we'll catch up on all of our stories. In the meantime, I have you to visit me and for tonight, that is all I can ask for.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I am Grateful for Peaches, Morning Glories, etc.

When we moved to this house the only things I missed from my last house was a babbling creek I could see from the back windows and a ton of perennial flowers and bushes that would take turn blooming every two weeks. What I gained at this house is no steps in and out of the house, a front porch, a mountain view, lilacs, roses and "thank you, God" 3 peach trees. This year is a bumper crop for some reason (we don't know a thing about growing peaches). We do know how to eat them fresh and make peach pies. My favorite is cut up fresh with fresh blueberries. I wanted you to see the peaches. I have traded them to neighbors for their tomatoes and just given them away right and left, they just keep coming.

I forgot to tell you we gained a huge Magnolia tree that shouts "welcome to the South".
Someday I will send you pictures of that. What I want to say is after buying more than 20 some houses (I get emotional and tired just from thinking of the different ones and where they were) in the last 45 years, I have learned that you just don't get it all in one place. And get this, I have learned we don't get it all in one person or ourselves. Everything is a work in progress.

I digress.

I took a couple of pictures of the Morning Glories I planted this spring at the base of guidelines for the electric pole. It looks like Jack and the Beanstalk but if you look real close you can see a bloom or two. Amazing what can happen when we place 5 or 6 seeds in the ground, isn't it?

I'll bet you have things, people, experiences that you are thankful for too. Taking the time to feel the gratitude can make our day. Gratitude in itself is a prayer, don't you feel your spirit soar as you form the words?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


It is probably not apparent to you that I don't have a clue what I am doing with the camera or posting pictures. Confession is good for my soul:)

The first two paintings are scenes my husband painted for us and the portrait is a work that was commissioned by a gentleman in Detroit.

Around The House And Then Some!

I have had a great weekend in my book. I got up at 6 am (too early for me but I couldn't sleep for wondering what I might be missing) and took off for church sales and yard sales yesterday. I found some good old pieces like Watt and FireKing (gee, I just now realized it would have made sense to have taken pictures of the stuff but that will have to be another time). I dropped off stuff to the auctioneer that I was telling you about before. It will just be interesting to watch the people bid (or not) and see if he can sell them next week. By the time I got home around 1:00 it was steaming hot and in the 90's. My husband helped me unload the goodies and my dining room table looked like a mini Goodwill. That part distresses me. The house was clean and I come in, tired, sweaty and bedraggled toting junk (treasures) that must be washed, priced, loaded in the car, driven to the shops, taken in the shops and put on shelves. I like most of the process but not the mess to my house and Lord, forgive me, my car. All my kids are grown now but they can tell you stories about never having a floor in the car to put their feet on because the floor was full of "treasures" that might be worth something. On vacations, I would ship stuff home so we would have wiggle room in the car. I have learned to call it what it is, an addiction but my ego knows it is much cheaper than therapy.

Here are some pictures I thought you might like from needlepoint to my husband's art work to alas the dining room table and boxes on the floor.

You may think I need therapy in addition to the shopping.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Visiting Friends Is A Very Good Thing

This past Monday night I went to a meeting we have once a month. It consists of a few women and we call ourselves "sisters in Christ". We take turns hosting it in our different homes. We usually have pot luck for dinner with the hostess saying what her main dish will be and we just bring what we want to go along with it. No big discussion between us at all and it has always worked out well and yummy. When we meet we celebrate anyone who has had a birthday since the last month. We have a devotion, we pray, we eat, we laugh and we cry TOGETHER.

That is the basic scoop and not so unusual I suppose. Ahhh, but how I got into the group and how it formed? I would love to share that part with you. It is a long story but I'll try to shorten it unless of course you leave a question and then I will fill in any blanks:)

I moved here from West Virginia when my husband and I took early retirement. One daughter was still at home and beginning eighth grade. Both of my other daughters planned on living here but alas that didn't work out (now, that is a long story and another post. I was lonely, I missed friends, I felt invisible. I was at one of the antique malls one day and the owner was telling me that she had been divorced twice and had quit going to church. She explained that she felt like after two failed marriages she wasn't even worthy to teach Sunday School. Something happened though after she opened the mall. Women (strangers) started sharing their lives with her. They told her of their failings, their depression, their loneliness and she felt God move her to open her house each month and have these women over to visit with her and each other. By the time she was through telling me all about it I was boo hooing all over the place and I asked if I could come or was it a closed meeting. She said it would never be closed as long as God sent the women to her. I knew it was an answer to my prayers and I started going that month. The women have been wonderful. I have been attending for about 3 years. I can tell you that at least the first 12 months they saw me cry every month. They listened to me tell them month after month how grateful I was for their open hearts and arms. I can finally get through a time of sharing with them where I don't cry and they can understand what in the world I am saying.

I am still humbled that God answered my prayer in such a meaningful way. I couldn't have asked for a more understanding or loving group of women.

Miracles can happen in an antique mall or any place in the world. When they happen, all we have to do is walk through the door with an open heart.

I thought I would share a picture of the fireplace in this gal's home. The picture does not come close to doing it justice just as my story cannot really express what this experience means to me but I'll bet you caught a glimpse, didn't you?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Making Money!!

I am a type A personality and it seems my mind is always going full throttle. I am in four antique malls and that keeps me pretty busy. I need to have a garage sale just as soon as it cools down enough to stay in the seventies. There is a consignment auction happening at the auction house down the road from me. I am going to pick up some items from the malls and take to him to sell. Auctions really unnerve me. There is no guarantee of what anything can sell for. You really need at least two people wanting something to have a chance of it going for a fair market value. The auctioneer was telling me that the only thing that seems to be moving at his auctions these days is old coins and old farm tools and I have neither. My husband is all for us "gambling" and taking whatever we get get for our junk (he says) and I say treasures. So as usual, we will meet in the middle and I will take a few things and test the water. An old wood tool box (or blanket chest)not sure which to call it but if tool boxes are selling:), and I have a like new rocking horse that nays like a real pony. I'll just grab some bigger things that are taking up room and have had their chance of selling in a controlled setting and just didn't sell for some reason or another.

I'm even thinking about selling again on Ebay. I did it years ago when I was a Longaberger basket consultant. I sold enough baskets to put hardwood flooring in the house we were living in. I read a really neat blog last night that got me motivated to do that again. She had bought a pair of vintage panties for fifty cents at Goodwill or somewhere like that. She put them on Ebay and they sold for $150.00. Wow, just think what my junk (treasures) might bring.

I was a Realtor and I used to joke that one of these days the earth was going to tilt further on it's axis because we all had too much stuff in our closets. Why don't we do something about it? We all can use the money, people are needing our stuff, we need to pay off our debts. We can have a garage sale, try an auction, try Ebay or we could do the "old-fashioned" thing and donate it. Knowing that as we give, we receive. Knowing that we have too much and our brother might just be waiting for the shirt off our back.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Puzzle Pieces Fitting Together

I started posting and creating this blog just a few weeks ago kind of as a lark. I was checking a new friend's blog and a pop up happened and asked if I would like to start a blog. Without a thought other than to check and double check to see if it was "free" I began filling in the blanks. The name was one I had used for my antique shop years ago in West Virginia. It was instantly accepted and before you know it I had a published post. Easy. Then I started reading other peoples posts and found out I could add pictures. Through my gritted teeth and making mistake after mistake and driving my grown girls crazy as well as computer smart friends I learned to use my 5 year old camera on line and post pictures. I was loving it, I became addicted. I could spend an hour or two just reading your posts, getting to know you. I love your stories. I love that blogs force us to see, to acknowledge, that we are so much more alike than we are different. Won't that in turn cause us to love each other more? Isn't that what everything is about? As I read and mulled over everything you were saying, I started feeling that small inner nudge. You know the one. The gentle voice that says "can you do more?", and the the reassuring voice that says "I will lead you, help you, just do it!". God speaks to us in so many ways. I always know when I hear the Voice that I am going to follow the call but I always also waste time and energy arguing that I am not good enough, wise enough, etc. But God reminded me that we each have a unique voice and unique ears and though yes, everything has been said before sometimes we hear it better if it is said in the voice that we can hear.

My hope is that my stories will remind you of something you already know spiritually. I believe that we are all born knowing spiritual truths and when we to hear other people share we are reminded of what we already know deep within ourselves.

I will continue this blog also. It is a part of who I am too, I just feel called to give the other part of me a voice. Visit me either place, anytime......I'll be waiting for you.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Bring on the Pumpkins!!

I am ready for Fall......when I was at Just Plain Country the other day several of the vendors had their booths completely changed to Fall decor and I was loving it. I headed into my garage yesterday and started pulling treasures off the shelves. I have handmade pumpkins from West Virginia, handmade folk art flowers from North Carolina and dozens of pumpkins in different fabrics....even some glass ones, beautiful fabric, candles, gourds of every shape and color, signs, fall silk flowers or dried ones. I was getting happy just touching the things as I placed them in baskets to be priced. Tomorrow I am headed to Primitive Peddlers in Pilot Mountain, NC to put a few things out and add that wonderful Fall color to the antiques and primitives that are already there. The monthly car show is coming this Saturday and that is when the crowds check out the store to see what is new. If you are in the area, please check it out and let me know what you think.

For over 20 years I have gone to an art and craft festival in West Virginia. It is an amazing show with artisans from several states and the entire building is filled to the brim with autumn and Christmas handmade treasures. Some of the crafts people I have known for a very long time and admire their work so much. I don't know about you but when I get around that much creativity in one place I get higher than a kite:) I am amazed at what men and women can create out of a little of this and that and time and determination. My Mother was always sewing something when I was growing up and even though I don't have her talent, to touch a quilt or pick up any quality hand made item brings me close to her once again.

I think it reminds me of a simpler time when what was made by hand was pretty much what we had and treasured. It is still what is dearest to my heart. I think of the good thoughts and prayers that went into them as they were created and I take comfort in having them close to me.

What does it do for you? Would you choose to spend a few hours looking at what people have made? What if it inspired you to change an entire room or your lifestyle? What if.......?