Seeing Red

The color red draws me in like a moth to flame. This is never more apparent than when scrolling through my camera roll after an antiquing trip.

The day I found the lunchboxes, I also found this adorable kiddie tractor.

Nifty wall art, reproduction but cute for a kitchen.

This fabulous red typewriter that I badly wanted. It’s the sort of typewriter that great novels should be written on!

A great Coca Cola cooler.

And an even better Coke machine.

Of course, I bought none of these things but they made for great study during my little field trip.

Is there a color or a type of object that catches your eye?

Post Covid Bucket List: Shop For Summer Clothes

I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to do when this is over and one of them is extremely simple. I want (and need) to go shopping for summer clothes for work.

One thought has repeatedly crossed my mind these last few weeks. If I had known my last trip to TJ Maxx would be my last trip, I would have appreciated it more.

This is where I tend to find good deals on cute dresses and tops for work. Not to mention shoes, cute bags, and fun household goods.

I am not a trendy person but tend to stick with more timeless styles and especially enjoy a good bargain.

My summer wardrobe consists of many things that are either too big or too small and a handful of things that fit. It’s time to buy new clothes but purchasing new online is just a miserable experience.

In fact, I recently read a story about how online shoppers buy multiple sizes of a piece so they can try on and return what they don’t need. That’s great except that many retailers throw away the returned items. It evidently is more expensive to pay someone to check the item for quality and repackage it for sale than it’s worth – an appallingly wasteful system that I’d rather not engage in. Plus I’m not going to the office right now so it can wait until clothes shopping can again be an experience and treat!

Meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder – does TJ Maxx miss me too?

Doing My Part One Book At A Time

The nice thing about being a reader is that this simple act allows you to move freely through time and space without leaving your chair.

The nice thing about the internet is that you can shop for books without leaving your house.

I’ve been doing my part to stimulate the economy and to support small businesses by buying books from the website Alibris.com. It’s sort of like Amazon for books only it’s mostly small booksellers. You can buy new or used and so far, I’ve found fair prices on everything I have wanted to buy.

In fact, every title I have purchased so far has cost between .99 and $2.99 for both hardbacks and softcovers. New and newer books obviously cost more. You do pay to ship but it’s typically $3 or $4 and some retailers will reduce your shipping costs if you buy more than one item from them.

You can search by title, author or ISBN. You can also browse by topic or store. The books are listed by the store and include full descriptions including condition and edition. This is helpful because you may want the newer reprint of an older book.

So far, I have no complaints about condition or quality. If you’re accustomed to free and quick shipping from Barnes and Noble or Amazon, this can take a little longer but not by much.

I try to buy from small Ohio booksellers although the only chain stores I have seen listed are Half Price Books.

There are few bookstores in my area and they’re all closed right now. Plus, I like supporting the mom and pop stores. Even though my orders are never for a lot of money, I hope that it all adds up!

Meanwhile, my reading stack is piling up again and I look forward to opening my mailbox every day. And I always say that having something to look forward to is a key to happiness!

Plus, instead of adding them to my bookshelves, the new titles are stacked together in my laundry room and when I’m ready for a new book I go “shop” the new stack!

Post Covid Bucket List: Antiques Village

It’s not a village and they don’t just sell antiques but Antiques Village is one of my favorite places to search for treasures. It’s in Dayton and I’ve been going a couple of times a year for the last two years.

It appears to be an old grocery store in a strip mall and it’s packed with over 350 vendors selling antiques, crafts, reproduction items, books and all manner of other fun things.

You can absolutely get lost in a place like this.

If you’re a record collector like me, there are tons of records here. I’m actually ashamed to say how many albums I’ve bought here so we won’t dwell on this topic. . .

One large corner is devoted to books which are sold to benefit a local charity. There’s a vendor that specializes in vintage clothing, hats and bags. Their prices are a bit high but it’s a fun booth to browse. Plus there’s lots of furniture and a couple of booths with high end farmhouse decor that I always admire but that doesn’t fit my personal style.

And then there are the more traditional antique mall kind of booths where you find everything but the kitchen sink.

It’s Covid closed right now but when things open up, I’m thinking this will be a day trip. If I can time it right, maybe I can stop and see my pilot friend for a ride in one of his vintage biplanes. There’s a restaurant in downtown Dayton that can make a vegan version of almost every menu item so that will be a must as well.

Click here to visit their website for locations and hours.

There are tons of vendor malls, junk shops, record stores, book shops, and antique stores that will be grateful for our business including many in my own area. Don’t forget to give them some business when you can!

What’s on your bucket list when this is all done?

Preparedness

I grew up in the country.

We were a single car family for a lot of my childhood so my mother went to town just once a week to do all her shopping. Back then, gas stations were closed on Sundays and there wasn’t a Dollar General in every hamlet across the country so, if you ran out of something, you likely did without until the next grocery trip.

I still live in the country but work in a town with a pharmacy, grocery, hardware and a couple of dollar stores. However, I attempt to limit my stops at the store, making a point to never need anything.

There are always plenty of supplies in my home – from toilet paper and rice to frozen vegetables and cat litter, I try to always have a supply of essentials on hand. This is especially true in the winter because you never know when you might be snowed in for a few days.

That’s probably why it’s so shocking to me to realize that other people don’t do this. Those who keep only a five day supply of food on hand are not my people. Those who could eat out of their pantry and freezer for a few months are.

And no, I’m not a hoarder – I tend to only keep what I can use – and bargain shop to get it. After all, if you don’t need something today, you can afford to wait for a sale later.

So I’ve been watching with interest as friends fearfully stock up on supplies like it’s a fresh concept. Last night I made one of my two monthly trips to Walmart. The goal was to pick up regular list items and to gather a few extra supplies I would need in a time of sickness or quarantine – Morningstar sausage patties, vegan chocolate chips, tissues, Clorox wipes, and cat food were on the list.

After all, if the zombie apocalypse is going to happen, we can’t have Scout going hungry!

You can see where people’s priorities are. As I suspected, the selection of toilet paper was picked over and the shelves nearly cleared of soap, Clorox wipes, bleach and other cleaning supplies.

The store seemed busier than it should be on a Tuesday night and it made me wonder if people are just out doing their normal thing or if they’re stocking up for the COVID-19 which will inevitably hit all our neighborhoods soon.

In case you’re looking for some friendly advice, I suggest always keeping the house stocked as though you might not be able to leave for a few days – not because of this virus but because things happen. Your car breaks down, you get a nasty stomach bug, there’s a snowstorm- any number of things could keep you at home at any time.

That means it’s always a good idea to have soap for hand washing and food for the whole family including the four legged kids.

And one last thing, fellow adventurers. Stay safe but don’t live in terror. Practice good hygiene and protect your personal space in public. If you’re sick, don’t go places where you might spread germs like work, public events or school. And if you know someone with a weakened immune system, offer to run their errands so they don’t have to be exposed to the germs of the masses.

But please, don’t stop living for fear of illness. Go live your life and do your thing within reason. This too shall pass.

What Are They Discussing?

Anyone else remember when people dressed up to leave the house? Heck, forget dressing up. At this point, I would be happy just to make it through the grocery store without seeing people in their pajamas.

These days have passed but this is a great picture. What do we think they’re talking about? I’m guessing it’s not saltines and frozen fish!