One Good Day Deserves Another

Ho Ho.  I actually had a wonderful day today with the good outweighing the bad!  It didn’t start really good but turned better.  Just as I finished dressing, thank goodness, and was just about ready to shoot out the door to go for my teeth cleaning, the telephone rang.  Now, I thought, what do I want to do best?  Answer the telephone or go to the Dentist?  HeHe, I answered the telephone.  Unfortunately, on the other end was an upset client (he was very polite about it but you can tell these things from the tone of voice) asking where I was and didn’t I want to come and look at his stuff or did I want someone else to get the pick of the crop.  I hastily opened up my date book and the only thing I saw was my dental appointment.  Flipping ahead I saw that I was to go over there next Wednesday.  Well, I quickly thought, which would I rather do?  Go over there and get the pick of the crop or go to the Dentist?  HeHe, I apologized profusely and got the directions and said that I was on my way.  I then called the Dentist who had a cancellation so that I could come in tomorrow at 9am.  Darn.  But, I took it.  Served me right.

It took about 10 minutes to get there and I only had to turn around once.  I knew when I passed the house because there was a terrible pile of stuff beside their trash barrel.  You see, he was an elderly gentleman who had just put his even-more elderly father into a home and he wanted to empty the house and get it over with as soon as possible.  When I drove in his son welcomed me at the side door, again I apologized profusely, shook hands with both of them and put on my professional face.  This was difficult because the clothing that I had put on (and didn’t think to change) was a pair of pajama bottoms and a short-sleeved t-shirt over a long-sleeved one.  Fortunately, I was very color coordinated so I just hoped that they thought that I was wearing grey striped pants.

He asked me where I wanted to start.  I have to explain that this is one of the hardest things for me to do in this job.  I don’t like to make an offer because I’m afraid it will be too low and they will be insulted but yet I’m afraid if I leave it up to them it will be too high.  Another thing was that I was acting like an antique dealer but I didn’t have much money.  So I told them that we could just take a tour and I would make a list of the things that I may want and then we could sit down and talk over the prices.  I listed 2 oil lamps and 1 hanging ceiling oil lamp that had been converted to electricity and a desk (I LOVE desks) and a grandfather clock that were all in the living room.  The son offered to wrap them for me but I explained that I may not buy them all and was just writing them down.  We then went down to the family room and I picked a box of books and odds and ends, an oak table with 8 chairs, a collection of canes (one was all glass and one had a long dagger in it), a collection of old pipes, a huge dresser, a brass scale, a transit (which I still don’t have any idea what it is), tripod and several maps that were rolled up (some cloth), lures, and fishing poles.  OK, so this was pretty fun since I didn’t have much money.  I do love to shop.  We then went back upstairs into one of the bedrooms where I picked some more books and two long bookshelves that when I looked closely saw that they were old school children’s lockers just like the ones I used to use.  Next bedroom an antique bed, a bureau with a tilting mirror and two pictures.  Next bedroom ,two antique mirrors (at which time the son said he would take them down for me and I said “no, no, not yet” , 9 more rolled maps then into the dining room for some funny old bottles, a Fenton cake plate, 2 frames,  25 bells (his mother had collected 100’s of them) and 2 paddles.  By paddles I mean the kind that “Dad” used on the sons behinds when they were bad.  Youchee!  Oh yes, I forgot my “memory jar” which was my favorite pick.

So, we both sat down and I went over the list thinking that I only had x amount of $.  So I offered him x amount of $ for everything and handed him the paper.  Geeze, I hate this part of my job.  He looked and looked and countered offered (of course because everyone has to counter offer, which is my problem because I offer right up front what I have) my x amount of $ + 200.00.  So, I said maybe we could take 200.00 off the list?  He said that it wasn’t a problem if I didn’t pay for a couple of weeks.  I blinked a couple of times, pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming and said OK!  I gave him what I had with me to cover the memory jug that I took, thanked them profusely after writing everything down and signing and he said he would call me as soon as he and his son came back and could help me move the stuff.

Now, I know that none of this has happened yet but I am wise and old now and I will pay for stuff as I take each load.  But I’m so excited that I have this years inventory!!!  I feel guilty that probably he could have gotten more had he taken the things to auction but I also have to realize that I need to make a profit and these are things that he will now not have to worry about.

I went home and then actually got through logging in all my quilts AND under the last quilt was my pair of slippers that I had been looking for all winter :o)  Now, can you beat that for a good day?  Woo Hoo!


Worms, Quilts and ZZZZZZZZZ’s

Well, a nice quiet evening with only two dogs here as P has taken Harryit to her first Veterinarian appointment.  She must have something wrong with her because they just called and told me that he had left her medication on the counter when he left.  I’m pretty sure that she needed a wormer.  Now we’ll put my dog knowledge to the test.  Yep, Coccidiosos.  I HATE them.  Marta, Spider and Sam got them once because a silly wabbit made her nest in their dog yard and before I could catch them, being terriers, they had partly eaten two baby wabbits.  I then had to put a crate over the nest and dig a small hole under it for Mama Wabbit but, unfortunately the worms pass from Wabbits to dogs.  Most other species cannot pass them to dogs.  I had another puppy that had it when I got her also.  They say it is from dirty conditions but although that may be true in some cases, I don’t believe it is true in all.  Now I’ll have to take in a sample of the other dogs because if one has it they usually all have it.  It’s also hard to test for because the worms go into a dormant stage where the tests don’t see them so you must have a test every few weeks until you are sure the dogs are clean of them.

I have been cataloguing quilts and coverlets all day today.  I keep thinking that the last items were the hardest and that I shouldn’t have any trouble with the rest but now I’m finding out that it is difficult to date a quilt because you have to be very knowledgeable about material, then if you see a spot or stain you have to try to take it out.  You have to measure them so that you know what size bed they would go on.  (a dead giveaway of a newer quilt is when it would fit a queen or king size bed since they haven’t been around so very, very long).  Hmmm.  I guess it would be long for a young person but for us old folks they are newbies.  Then you have to find out what pattern it is so that you can sound like you know what you are talking about and check for holes so that you can put “as is” on the tag so that the Buyer doesn’t  come back to you and tell you they want their money back because it has a teeny hole even thought it is 100 years old.  My goodness, I’m 60 and you should see me!  Happily, I only have three to go and I will actually have a chair for company to sit in and visit me in my office :o)

Tomorrow is going to be pretty busy also.  I have a cleaning appointment with the Dentist (shudder) in the morning and will be hosting the Huron historical Society meeting here in the evening.  And, guess what?  I’m not going to clean :o)  The meeting was cancelled last month when it was supposed to be here and the house has just been getting dirtier and dustier since then.  I’ve warned everyone to wear their gasmasks if they are allergic to dogs, cats or dust.  (I’m not going to warn them about the worms though!)

I’m making this short and sweet this evening or you will have zzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s all over the rest.  Thank you for reading, friends.


Letter to Florida or Come-On, Make My Day

Dear D,

Thanks for the quote; it seems like all my days are crazy like that!  It’s nice to know that God is watching me and not laughing.  I’ve certainly had another few busy weeks.  Always something!  When our 10-year-old Australian Terrier,  Miss Marta, dropped dead at our feet I went into shock and P was inconsolable.  But, for the first time since we’ve been married he wanted another right away but of a different breed so that he wouldn’t think of her each time he looked at the new one.  Usually, he won’t look at a dog for a year (which is why I made the mistake of getting “Spider”, who ended up for me – good mistake though!  I was pretty much numb about Miss Marta so I went onto  I asked what P wanted from rescue and he said “hairy with stick out hair like a terrier, the younger the better, female and black and tan”.  However he said that he would be happy with MY “Sam” who is a Yorkshire Terrier x Skipperke x Smooth Fox Terrier.  Now, I originally got “Sam” for P because we both knew Marta was going to go sometime soon because of the hole in her heart.  The vet said she would be gone probably by the age of 5 years and at that time she was then 8 years already.  But, P didn’t do anything with “Sam” – no training, no picking up, no keeping an eye on him.  So, of course, I took over and “Sam” is now permanently stuck about a yard from my leg at all times.  I take him on errands and went to Maine with him.  The love of my life, “Spider”  is 10 years old and isn’t crazy about riding anywhere except on my lap which is a “no-no” when I’m driving.  “Sam” politely sits on his seat until he hears the beep of the door lock when I get out, then he goes to look out my window at me.  When I get back and he hears the two beeps for the unlock he politely moves right over and sits in his seat.

Well back to  Each dog is “supposedly”  from a pet rescue or shelter (usually you can tell if they are non-profit if their web address ends with “.org”) and needs a home so I combed the ads for “baby” (thank goodness I didn’t have to look at the old ones because I know no one will take them and they make me cry), then “female” then “Australian, Silky, Welsh, or Yorkshire terrier” which are all black and tan.  Most were black and tan but some shelters don’t know a dog from a hole in the ground so were other colors.  P then went through my selected dogs and picked which ones would work for him.  That brought it down to about 6 so I had to fill out 6 different applications which were about 2 pages long with the questions ranging from if I owned my own house to information on my other pets and then vet and personal references.

The first turned me down because I mentioned that I had a 15-year-old cat who was not up to date on her vaccinations. She stays in the house and I don’t believe in over vaccination.  They said I had to get her up to date so I told them that I had no intention of killing my cat so that I could get a puppy.

The next one was in MO and they said you had to live in MO to adopt one because they want to be able to drop in and check on it.

The next one was in TX and they had no transport.  Sometimes these places have people who will collect the wanted dogs and bring them to a central place where you meet them.  I WAS approved on that one.

The other two never did reply.

This last one was in SC and was still available and I was approved.  So, since none of the other places were interested in adopting out their dogs I sent Richardson Rescue  a $50 deposit, called my daughter, T, and asked if she would go. She said yes because she is always afraid that with my luck I’ll drive into the ocean or something.  That was Thursday evening and T said she had just gotten back from class and convinced me to wait until she had some sleep.  So about 3am I was on my way to her which usually takes about an hour.  About half-way there I got out of my shock about Marta and realized that I was replacing her and had to park the car because I was crying so hard.  Anyway, I recovered, made it to T’s and after looking at me she just got in my car on the driver’s seat and off we went.  It was kind of a fun drive.  we circled Canandaigua (about 15 minutes away from T’s house) about three times before finding the right route. (Great start!) and by the time it was getting light were in PA.  Since we were on a main drag and it was winter it was pretty bad scenery with all the mills and what looked like penitentiaries.  Going into Virginia was much better with the hills and mountains and farms even though I was surprised that everything was so brown and no leaves were on the trees – just like in NY.  Isn’t VA supposed to be warm?  So, forget about moving there!  It was Saturday afternoon when we entered SC and the Rescue was close to the border.  If we got the puppy by 3PM when they closed we would be able to start back sooner because they wouldn’t open again until 10am on Monday even if we were coming from China.  We made it after calling them twice because we got lost on a country road.  They were way out in the sticks!  The place was not a Waldorf hotel for dogs but it was clean, the dogs all had covers on their pens and all had a companion so weren’t alone.  There were little houses in the pens and some residents were wandering around and the young pups were in a mobile home.  One of the residents that was wandering around was an ancient dachshund that had been dropped off on a road because (probably) it had a large cyst on its neck.  The Rescue had it removed but it was still skin and bones and wearing a sweater.  They said she looked much better than she did when she came in.  She came right over to me (naturally!) and sat down and looked at me and said “please take me home”.  I think that P would be proud because I pet her then looked away at the others.  A lot of them were missing parts but were all fixed and looked comfortable.  Then we went into the puppy house,  thank goodness;  and the dachshund walked away.

Now here was the fun part!  There was a cage full of terrier/beagles that were 4 weeks old.  There is nothing cuter than a baby beagle.  Luckily I knew what they grew up to be!  Nice dogs but coats like a rug and they think with their noses.  I was sad to see that they would have let me take one at 4 weeks but what choice did they have when the mother wasn’t there.  Then I saw “Harryit” and her brother.  Adorable!  (As you can see on my Face book page).  She looked like trouble but females usually are because they are so smart and her brother “Wookie” was also adorable (he was a male and they love to cuddle because they are kind of dumber than the females).  I love the males.  I kicked myself all the way home for not taking “Wookie”,  too.  I know I could have found a home for him.  However, they emailed me and told me that he had been adopted the next day.  After filling out millions of pages of paperwork and signing a contract they gave us a collar that fit, a leash, food, poop bags and a travel dish.  I wanted to stay and look at the dogs but T gave me a dirty look and we left.  Probably a good thing because I know my heart would break.  The reason I named her “Harryit” is because she just had that look that said “come on – make my day” and, of course, that was from the movie “Dirty Harry”.  So we call her “Harryit”.

If you would have been closer I would have come to see you but we were SO tired of being in that car and we had the pup and I knew you had a house guest.  We were so tired that we went back to Charlotte to look for a hotel.  I figured I could put the pup under my coat.  T  just said that we would head for a dive because they take pets and we only needed a bed for the night and at that time we were ready to sleep under a tree.  The first one we pulled into had two men outside one of the units (you could tell they lived there) who made a suggestion to us so that we just looked at each other and left.  I’m so glad that T was at one time a corrections officer at a prison before she was an EMT.  Knowing T I figured that she had a gun within reach also (which she would never tell me).  The next hotel was a step up so we stopped and they did take pets.  In fact they had one that was sitting in the window that looked like the RCA dog only was a HUGE Mastiff/Pitt Bull cross!  They gave us a room which was on the end and on the first floor across from some green grass that we could walk the pup on.  T found out later that had we gone about 1 mile further we could have stayed in a much better hotel than one that cost $39 for two people and a dog.

The hotel was pretty disgusting but it had a bed, shower and sink.  After checking for bedbugs we put one of our blankets on top of the bed, wrapped t-shirts around the pillows and covered ourselves with another blanket that we had brought.  We had ordered out for a pizza to be delivered.  We konked out from 5pm until 10am the next morning.  The pup was in bed with us and when she whined we just set her on the floor, she went on a piddle pad (told you – smart) and then whined to get back into bed.  She was shivering so we cut holes in one of T’s socks so she could wear it as a sweater.

AM we were on the road back.  It was raining.  We stopped to eat in Virginia at some Captain something’s place and had the most delicious salmon and the most horrible things called hush puppies that I had ever eaten.  We packed up the hush puppies for T’s husband who loves them.  During both drives he had been calling about every three hours and telling us where we were (and he was always right!) because he used to haul two horses from Ohio to Florida because he was the lead pony rider at a race track down there and lived in Ohio.  In Virginia while we were eating it really started to get nasty out with all the snow and ice. (This was Sunday).  T was driving which made me feel safer because since she is an EMT she has pretty much seen what happens when you have an “oopsie” in a car and besides – she works at a race track and has to follow all those little people on their horses in all that mud and stuff so that she can stop and pick them up.  So, as we were going about 40 MPH with our four-way flashers on these uhhh…people…were tailgating until they had a chance to (literally) slip into the lane that had the cars, trucks and semis going by us at about 70-80 MPH.  I’m not sure about what is happening with the big truck drivers.  When I was young they used to flash to say you were safe moving over, etc.  They were really polite and would stop if they saw you stuck on the road.  Now they try to intimidate you by coming right up to your bumper so that you get out of their way.  We didn’t so they would pass.  Then, about 5 miles up the road there the uhhh…people… would be: facing backwards off the road with yellow “caution” tape wrapped around their cars and trucks.  The storm was moving slowly South to North so we were out of it in PA.

Again, we were in PA in the dark and I was not impressed.  I have to say that in VA after got out of the storm the trees and mountains were covered with snow and it was gorgeous.  Little puppy stayed on my lap the entire ride except when she had to do her business, then she would whine and I would put her in the back on the piddle pads.  I do love my Subaru Forester.  During the entire storm we didn’t slip once :o)  When we reached T’s home I was on my second or third burst of energy and insisted that rather than spend the next 10 hours sleeping at her house – I would drive the hour home.  I was so tired I can’t remember what I did with Harryit!  T and her husband D had a fit but I was insistent.  About 15 minutes before I reached home it hit me how tired I was.  I’m so glad that it hit me then and not before.  I reached home about 5 am Monday morning.  I handed puppy to P, hauled the necessary things into the house and hit the bed.  I think I was there until Thursday am.  I also think that I had caught the flu because the only time I was out of bed was when I was sitting on the toilet!  Thursday, I went bowling at 6:30 pm.  I bowl on one of my sisters team and I hate to say it but she got me again.  I was just so tired that when she made one of her verbal zings to me.   I just told her to shut up or I would jump over the table and wring her neck.  Then I just looked innocent.  She did shut up though :oD.

So, here it is, Sunday and “Harryit is”  doing wonderful.  “Spider” is insulted that she is sleeping on the bed and spends the first five minutes with her back to us and during the day “Sam” is stuck about a yard from my leg as usual.

Well, I’m sure you are tired from hearing about one of my wanderings so I shall say “noodles” and take a nap.

Resting on my Blankie

Exhausted but Still Ticking

Really, it isn’t as if I’ve been busy.  It’s just that there are not enough hours in the day that I am able to do things constructively.  On a regular basis I get up in the morning and have to feed the dogs and the cat and let them out to do their thing.  Then I have to do my thing at which time I also study my glass, pottery, jewelry, etc. books so that I can cram some more things into my head that I can forget when I need them.  This means that about 9 am I clean myself and grab a bite to eat.  So, about 10 am I am ready to go to work on my new and old merchandise or just do paperwork.  Meanwhile, I’m thinking about all the things I’m not doing, such as my taxes, cleaning, or just plain picking up things although today I decided that I’m not going to pick anything up any more because when I put them away I can never find them again.  When I start to do one of the above I get a telephone call asking me to open up the shop or asking what something is worth or just asking how I am.  An hour passes which makes it about 11 am and I start to read my email, go to face book and check my states on WordPress.  This makes it about 1 pm when I really, really am hungry, after which I really, really need a nap.  At 2 pm I have more email to answer and usually do a load of laundry after which I have about one hour to actually do some paper work before I have to feed the dogs, get some sustenance myself and realize that I am too tired to do any more.  I then collapse and watch a CD and then it’s time to go to bed.  So, what happened to the day?  I didn’t get anything at all done!

I mentioned that one of our dogs passed away so three days, at least , were spent looking for 1) a baby female, 2) of terrier origin, 3) with hair that sticks out all over and 4) near enough to have transported or go to pick up.  When I had my choices made there were about 5-6 applications to fill out for rescue groups because I promised myself that this one will be a rescue.  Applications take forever to complete because they need to know everything from your sexual habits to your feelings about insects.  When you finally send the applications in you feel like you at least have a chance for the puppy.  Then comes the first reply that states that I have a cat that is 18 years old and is not up to date on its vaccinations.  I reply that I’m not going to kill my cat with over vaccinating it and send reference links that explain the dangers of vaccinations to cats that are ancient and never come in contact with other cats.  Their response is that they don’t care.

The next response is that the pup has already been adopted.  The next two never even get the courtesy of a reply.  Finally you get a response that states that you may have the pup as soon as they have met me and approved me.  Of course, this pup is in South Carolina.  I call my daughter and we’re off by early Saturday Morning, pick up the dog and return by Monday Evening.  Gee, nothing done over the weekend but the drive south and north.

Next I catch the flu and am down for the count until yesterday when a person calls to tell me that he is cleaning out his father’s house because he has passed awa y and would I come to make an estimate on the contents of the house.  So, at the moment, what I am is exhausted and will write more tomorrow.


Fun Things From Maine

I have to admit it.  I’ve been playing instead of blogging along like usual.  After Miss. Marta, My Australian Terrier’s heart gave out at our feet last week, all I wanted to do was nothing.  However, my office cannot keep going on like this.  One more pile on the desk and the desk will fall through the floor onto the furnace and then we’ll either freeze or blow up.  So, since I had logged in the second Vodka box which consisted of most of the things that I purchased in Maine, I decided to photograph them individually this time.  This way if I wish to put them online to sell, the pictures will have already been taken.  As I do this blog I will also be editing the photographs.  My apologies for any blurry items.  Really, there was no earthquake – it was due to my familial tremor.  It seems to get worse in times of stress and I’m very much missing my friends in Maine.

Isn’t it terrible that the older you get, the harder it is to make close friends?  I was 18 when my Husband, Daughter of 1.5 years and I flew out to California to live with nothing but what we could carry on the plane and carry in the cargo.  I couldn’t even take my dog, Pete.  My Dad took us to the airport and it was horrible because I think my daughter thought that he was her father and vice versa.  Since we had no money we took the red-eye and daughter had a terrible earache all the way.  She was sad to leave and she was in pain.  Luckily the plane wasn’t crammed and she was able to have two seats beside me to lie down.  Of course, this could have been due to the fact that no one wants to sit next to a crying infant and they all moved to the other side of the plane.  I wonder if the pilot noticed the tilt.

My husband had found a nice “fish bowl” for us.  I say fish bowl because in California a lot of the apartment building are built with the “halls” on the outside with a railing on one side and the apartments on the other.  The large apartment windows were on that wall so that when anyone was coming and going to their apartment they could look in and  if you wanted any sunshine you had to keep the curtains open.  The apartment was fully stocked by Husband with a set of used dishes, silverware and pots and pans, a used table with 4 chairs, an arm-chair and couch, two beds and a shower curtain.  But who cared?  18 and full of the excitement of being on our own!  It took me a while to find a job and when I did we needed a babysitter.  So, we enrolled her in a preschool which watched her until we could pick her up and in the evenings we would go and clean the school for her tuition.  When she was about 5 she was able to walk the three blocks from there to home.  Be still my heart!  When I think of her doing that now I almost pass out.  We found friends by:  1) Picking up a hitch hiker who stayed for three months (well he didn’t have a place to go!); 2) Meeting his friends and 3) meeting a woman at my new job who is still one of my very closest friends.

I suppose that proves why older and wiser people take longer to make close friends.  Someday you shall get the stories on 1) and 2).

Well, I actually had a good week and sold one of my chairs that I advertised on Craig’s List and had people in and out of the barn who purchased an oak dresser and a few small things.  I must be doing something right because when I look back to January of last year there is absolutely nothing!  The following items were what I found in Maine on the few shopping trips that we made to Salvation Army, etc.

So there we have the fun and games of Maine (part of it anyway).  If you run your cursor over the pictures you will get a description.  If you want any information regarding any of them or if you can help me identify any of them I would certainly appreciate hearing from you.  Now for taking them to the shop, arranging them and having someone fall in love with them like I did.


How to Deal or Don’t Deal with “Shady” Characters

I’ve ordered a copy of  Killer stuff and Tons of Money, Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America, by Maureen Stanton, a new paperback from Quality Book Club.  I suppose I could go to but I think they only have hardcovers of this one and since I’m ordering other books from QPB it’s easier to just add this one to it.  Besides, it’s buy two get one free at the moment.   The book is supposed to cover the subculture of antiques (sort of like Dog Show did for the sport of dog showing).  I’m a little bit disturbed about their description of the book as revealing the “cutthroat field” and a “contact and blood sport”.  Sounds like the normal description of antique dealers as “crooks”, “cheaters”, and “scam artists”.  And,  in my dealings with other dealers the ones that stand out are the “bad” dealers and not the “good” dealers because it’s the “bad” dealers that I TRY to remember so that I don’t get taken again.

I don’t think that it is just antique dealers that are thought of in such bad terms.  I think it is Sellers in general.  Think of the reputations of car dealers, horse sellers, real estate agents, carnival barkers, etc. and you will realize that the professionals that sell things that are usually non-returnable, if something is wrong with them.  However, if you know that a profession has a reputation of being “shady” then you also should know the meaning of “buyer beware”.  No one likes to realize that they have just purchased something with a hairline crack, for instance, running up the side because then they have to admit that they just made a mistake by not examining it close enough.  All you saw was that lower price and didn’t listen to yourself saying “buyer beware” and were excited about taking advantage of that “shady” dealer who has such a silly low price on the item.

Far be it for me to say that these professionals are all honest.  However, I DO know that, like you, they are trying to make some money and if you don’t look closely at the goods or read the contract then it’s your fault.  The “shady” dealers actually are the ones that try to pass off something damaged or worthless as something whole and worth a lot of money.  But, even if the goods are misrepresented, it is “Buyer beware”.  If you are going to spend lots of money on something; DO YOUR HOMEWORK or pay someone to come with you that knows what they are doing.  And, don’t expect that person to do it for free either.  If someone has spent years learning about furniture (for example), attending events so that they can examine furniture, purchasing books so that they can read about furniture and listening to other furniture experts then you should expect that they will want payment just like Doctors, lawyers and Indian Chiefs do.  And, nowadays, GET A CONTRACT from that person that fully explains what happens when and if you find that person made a mistake.

Now I am a gullible person and the advice I just gave you sounds really reasonable.  And I’m even trying to follow it because I have this big “sucker” printed on my forehead.  I’ve also signed contracts that wouldn’t hold water, much less money.  I initially started selling antiques in a mall situation starting with one booth then getting another and several display cabinets.  Across the aisle from me was a very nice elderly woman who explained that she had heart problems who I will now call EL.  I was there for three years and decided to move my items into my barn because the mall was getting much more for the rent than I was from the sales.  I left regretfully because I had made many “dealer” friends and I knew that I would miss not having to be tied down to a store.  The items from my booths covered about 1/3 of the space in the barn after the shelves and cabinets were purchased and put into place.  About 4 months after putting my things into the barn (they were winter months so I was basically closed) my friend, EL, called me and said that she, too, had pulled out of the mall.  She said her sons had boxed and moved all her things into the small shop building that she owned.  She also said that she had linens, antiques, kitchen ware, etc. on both floors of her house.  She said that her health was not at all good and offered to sell the entire lot to me for $5,000.  I replied that at that time it would be hard to come up with that amount but that I would check with my husband and would look into our savings.

About three days later I called her and asked to see the merchandise that she had.  When I walked into the enclosed front porch there were many glass vases, some small antiques such as rugs and a lot of folksy item such as candles and wind chimes.  She explained that the Wicker Chair was not included because it had been left to her by a relative and that she would appreciate it if I didn’t take any of the display shelves.  Going into the hall she pointed to a glass case filled with glass items, waved her arm around and said “all this” which might have meant the smaller glass case and bookshelves across from it and the filled built in closset of material next to it.  Going up the curved stairway to the second floor she waved her arm at the walls and said “all pictures”.  Upstairs there was a hallway filled with linens and vintage clothes, and a few pictures on the walls.  A room to the right was filled with some antiques such as small furniture items and glass ware on shelves, a few lamps and on the other side of the entry door there were about three built-in shelves with old books in them.  Through an arch there was a smaller room filled with Christmas items.  Most were new but there were Russian dolls and glass ornaments and all sorts of new decorations on a tree.  Returning to the hallway there was a room on the left that had a lovely set of bedroom furniture, quilts, two indigo coverlets on the bed, rugs and a few reproduction items and pictures on the wall.  She explained that the bedroom set was not for sale. back to the hallway straight ahead was a kitchen filled with 30’s , 40’s and 50’s kitchen Klutter.  So, we went back downstairs and proceeded to make a deal.  I love Kitchen Klutter and linens and books and those two indigo coverlets were to die for.  I thought that $5,000 was a reasonable price.  I told her that if I scraped my savings account I could come up with $4,000.  Could I purchase everything but the Christmas items?  She said yes and don’t hurry about coming and getting things as she was in no rush.  Yahoo!  My store was all ready to be stocked by opening time in May and I didn’t have to bother with auctions and sales.

This was the end of February and my older Sister was at the moment, unemployed and loving every minute of it.  She wanted to help me and was excited about arranging the stuff and setting up a little part to sell her handcrafts.  The weather was on/off.  It would be freezing to the point of seeing our breaths and snowing to warming up with the snow melting and turning to mud.  We started right away.  I’m a go-getter when I want some material item because I’m always afraid it will disappear.  I call the EL and asked her if it would be all right if we started on the shop where the goods were “still in their boxes from being brought from her booth by her sons”.  She said that she would drive me over this first time and my sister could follow in her SUV.  This would mean that we could only get one load but since it was things from her booth it should be worthwhile.  Warm or not, we still had to shovel ourselves a path for the screen door to open out.   The EL showed us where the lights were and said that she would leave the door unlocked for us to come back.  She took us around and explained that everything in the large half was mine except the display shelves.  In the smaller other half it was the same way but the back room was her grandson’s who lived next door.  Her granddaughter came over so there were three of us packing and filling boxes.  Since I didn’t see and of the goods that were “still in their boxes from being brought from her booth by her sons” we started on the shelves she suggested to start on where the dusty flower vases, ashtrays and basic garage sale items were.  We finished up with half of that wall of shelves quickly because EL was wrapping and the three of us were packing and hauling to the car.  We crammed that car/SUV so much that my sister had to reach into a lampshade to shift the vehicle, then brought it back to my barn and hauled it in and stacked it.  Actually, we got a wee bit more than I expected and I saw I may have bit more off than I could eat so I ordered more boxes and started making arrangements for a portable storage unit to rent.

The next day, my Sister couldn’t help so I took the Forrester over (which holds much more than you would think) and finished up that wall’s items.  Toward the back I started finding some nice crocks and things.  Then I walked around surveying “my” goods and picking out a few more items.  Unfortunately the rest looked pretty much like garage sale items.  I took some old canning jars and a cute little tin duck toy that didn’t have a key, turned off the light and left, hauled it all into the barn and stacked it.  Now my barn,s first room was full but you could still get through the door to the second room.

Luckily my sister could work the next day which is when things started to get interesting.  The shop door was locked.  That was when I started to get this funny feeling in my stomach.  We drove back to the EL house but she wasn’t there.  So, since the porch door was unlocked we cleaned out the porch leaving the wicker chair and display cases.  Again, those things were reproduction folk art and garage sale items.  Peeking behind a display case, I could see that the antiques had been piled up in the corner.  The EL came back home and was really in a bad mood, explaining that she had to wait at least one hour for her doctor.  I told her that we were full up and leaving for the day and said “what about the stuff in the corner?”.  She replied that was just stuff that wasn’t included because it had been back there when I looked at the things.  More funny feelings.  My sister gave her the loaf of banana bread that she had made and it was back to the barn and unloading and stacking (this time behind and around the sales desk corner).  In order to get into our barn basement we now had to walk around the barn to get in the back door and it wasn’t possible at all to get up into the attic.

My sister and I went over the next day and started the upstairs.  EL said that she would pack up the glass items in the china case downstairs because she was an expert on packing things so that they wouldn’t break.  Probably true.   Later, when I opened up the boxes I saw that the packing she had used was stuffed animals and that there were about three pieces of glass to four large stuffed animals.  My sister and I scouted out as to where we would start.  The indigo coverlets were gone and the kitchen had been robbed of the nesting bowls that I had loved.  Those were the things I noticed right away.  I looked at my sister and said “pack”, “start with any antiques that you can see and forget about the stuffed animals and repos”.  Of course, my sister loves stuffed animals and repos so that when I was unpacking I was glaring at her.  Well, at least they made the boxes lighter.  I got all the linens, the throw rugs, the vintage clothing and the few pictures that were on the walls).  EL’s grandson helped to haul the boxes down the stairs.   The SUVs were packed again as usual so I sent her back to the barn and went in to EL to talk.  I remembered she only gave me a slip of paper stating “received from D. Miller $4,000 for household goods”.  I sat down and told her that one of the reasons that I had agreed to the deal was that there were things that I could see right off that would go a lot to cover my money’s worth.  One of those had been the two indigo coverlets and the nesting bowls which were missing now).  She replied that probably when her daughter was up there she had taken the coverlets home and that she was going to rent out the upstairs apartment to her granddaughter and she needed bowls.  However, the coverlets had been new so I shouldn’t want them.  I said that “no”, I had a coverlet just like them and they were old and “fine, since your granddaughter wanted nesting bowls she could have those as a gift from me”.  EL said that she would get the coverlets and provide proof with receipts that they were new.  OK, so I returned home and by then my sister had her car unloaded and helped me do mine.  Whoopee!  However she couldn’t help the next day.  That was the day that I realized that EL had not intended to sell me everything but since I hurried so fast I was taking stuff that she didn’t have time to get out and I knew I had to hurry even faster.  The next day I finished the bedroom, did half of the kitchen, (unpacking found that I had half of several items, such as mixing bowls and beaters but no mixer and cake tops with no bottoms) finished what my sister didn’t get of the other room, got the books in the built-in shelves and the boxes that EL had packed from the glass fronted china cabinet.  Meanwhile EL came upstairs while I was doing this and “reminded” me that she was renting out the upstairs so I couldn’t take any furniture, including the little tables, the kitchen chairs or table, lamps and rugs.  I bit my tongue and didn’t say a word because I knew that she wouldn’t let me back in the house the next day if I told her what I thought.

My sister was able to come and help the next day and EL told us that we couldn’t have any of the jewelry in the upstairs and by the way, did I take her coatrack?  I said “no, the coatrack wouldn’t fit into my car even if I sawed it in two”.  She brought the two indigo coverlets in folded up and said (of course) she couldn’t find the receipts but she KNEW that they were new.  Then she said since I didn’t believe her she would give me one and she would take the other.  I told her that I thought I should have both of them because what difference was it if they were new or old?  I was told that I could have everything in the upstairs except the bedroom set and the display shelves.  She gave me one and I started packing again.  Later when I unfolded the coverlet I saw a huge patch on that “new” item.  I noticed that she had pulled a wardrobe over the door of the Christmas room which I thought was a good idea.  She should have stuck everything that she wanted to keep in there before she gave me the tour.  This was when my sister was attacking the stuffed animals and repro cloth dolls and new baskets in the boxes which took up a lot of room.  One time I saw her going down the stairs with a basket backpack on her back stuffed with things and a beaded necklace hanging through the weave.  I hoped that EL was not looking but it really was hysterical.  I also think this was the day that it was so muddy that I slid down the embankment to the car on my butt.  Very cold and dirty!  We finished, hauled the stuff back and I called the rental units to ask how much they were and whether they delivered.

Luckily, I didn’t rent one then because the next thing that happened was that EL called me and told me that she had changed her mind.  That I was to return everything and she would give me my money back.  I said I didn’t think so and gave her an estimate of how many hours we had spent and costs for gas and boxes, etc.  I told her that since I didn’t get everything upstairs or in the glass cabinet or any furniture or rugs or the things on the porch and almost nothing in her shop that I figured that I got about 1/4 of the goods that she had promised me.  So, she could give me back $3,000 and we would be all set even though I needed the rest of the things to start my store.  She explained that I would regret that decision.

I next wrote her a letter with the above in it and gave her a week before I went to see my attorney.  I went to my attorney and we went to small claims and I won (that’s another story) but somehow the court lost the paperwork so no judgment has been filed since the court date in august.  Meanwhile I’ve paid my attorney his $1,000, I’ve sold about $500 of her things so I’m still in the hole for $3,500.

The lesson of this long-winded story is GET A CONTRACT.  But as much as people tell me I should have done this, just what kind of contract would that be?  Would I have gone around after EL taking pictures of everything that was there?  My Mentor GPS says that I should have divided the $4,000 into how many carloads it took and paid as I took each carload which makes sence except that how was I to know how many carloads it was?  So, it just ends up “buyer beware”…Do NOT purchase things from little old ladies even if you have known them for years!


The Vodka Box

Hi readers, I’ve been tackling the “Skol Vodka” box which has items on top and items leaning against it to be logged into the Aussie-Magic Vintiques inventory.  I’m also having a brain-dead day (it must be the cloudy weather).  i.e.  I pick up an item and stare at it as if it was going to tell me its name.  What is it?  Why can’t I think of the name?  Jar? Jug?  Oh, you know…Ewer?  So, I end up so frustrated that I take it upstairs to my husband who looks at it and says “urn”.  Grrrrrrrr.  And I’ve had so many pleasant interruptions that I’ve only logged in two items.  No wonder I never get anything done.

I’ve advertised an antique sofa and three chairs on Craig’s list and had several replies.  First I delete the scams that are trying to trick me into sharing my email address.  Usually Sellers and Buyers send their mail to each other via Craig’s list.  Then I go for the questions.  Most are for dimensions of the items.  I should have thought of that and put it into the listing but I didn’t so I go out to the shop and measure (take the sofa) from the front of the arm to the back of the arm, from the front of the Sofa to the cushion on the back of the sofa, from the floor to the bottom of the sofa, from the bottom of the sofa to the top of the cushions, from the bottom of the sofa to the top of the arms and from the bottom of the sofa to the top of the back of the sofa, from the left of the arm to the right of the arm.  Luckily, it has been warmer than usual so that I can do this without mittens.  The problem lies in the fact that there is so much stuff out there.  To get some of the measurements I have to crawl under an inlaid kitchen table, between the barn sliding door and the couch and then between a buffet (that is in very bad shape) and the sofa.  The sofa is somewhat stuck between those two pieces and I would have to open the sliding door and push really hard on it to move it out to the center of the room.  Of course the center of the room is only about 2′ x 2′ because it is so crowded.  Finally my fingers are frozen and I come back to my computer (the chairs were easy!) and send the measurements out to the potential Buyers.

Two people reply.  One wants the measurement from the front of the cushions on the seat of the sofa to the back of the cushions on the sofa.  The other says he is going to come tomorrow morning to look it over.  I go out to the barn and get the measurements and I never hear from or see either one of them again.  So, another lesson learned…get telephone numbers so that they feel a bit more obligated or at least they let you know if they aren’t coming.  So, how many hours did I put into that?  Well, at least I know the measurements now if someone requests them again AND, I did get responses from Craig’s list which is always good.  Things like sofas and chairs aren’t really candidates for eBay because they are too large to ship.  Foot traffic in this weather is non existant since I’m out in the sticks.   I’m still thinking on whether I should try out eBay again after 6 years with all of their new policies or if I should try out Ruby Lane.  What I should do is when I do this blog and give pictures of each item I should do the pictures individually so that I can also use them for online selling.  Sure is going to make a long blog!

This is a pretty sad household at the moment.  One of our dogs came in and dropped dead at our feet two days ago.  We got her from a Breeder free because she had a major murmur.  The Vet rated it #5 out of #6 with #6 being a dead dog so we knew what we were in for.  We took her into a Vet specializing in canine hearts and after millions of dollars he explained that she had a hole between the left part and the right part of her heart so the problem was the blood going into both sides at the same time.  We let her have a normal life.  No keeping her in crates or walking slow on a leash.  Her only problem was she, for some reason, was never able to be house trained.  She was 10 so I guess we did a good job but it is always so hard to lose a member of your family, especially when your family is so small like ours.

Well, no more moping – back to the inventory!  I would say “only x amount to go” but I’m afraid to count the number in this box.  Maybe I should have taken the box filled with the Vodka instead of being empty so I could fill it with things from Maine!  Oh well, my cheer is “Aussie-Magic Vintiques or nothing!”  LOL


One Box of Great Merchandise

Oh finally!  I got one whole box of items put into my inventory.  Of course, this box was on the floor so my desk doesn’t look any less full but in my mind I’m relieved.  This is the story of the “Moist and Meaty” box:

The Cow Creamer (who could resist a cow?) that has missing tips on both ears and a chip on one hoof and paint loss (which I saw selling on the internet for $180.00 in pristine condition).  They said that it was made in Germany.  It does look as if it was and feel as if it was but it isn’t marked which may mean it was made prior to 1898; and the Toothbrush Holder with the blue birds, holes that drain to the bottom and then drain out from there (a lot of discoloration and I was afraid to try to separate the top from the bottom because I didn’t know if it should have).  I love the stand-up toothbrush holders because you don’t see them much anymore.  Again no maker name on it.  Both were on in the WCNY.Shop:Antiques page.  Since this was Wayne County I knew I could go and pick it up and save postage.  They have more than antiques!  Another item I purchased there was the Geisha plate that you see in the picture which was quite heavy for that type of plate and had an embossed “S in a circle” that I could hardly see.  I never did identify that mark.  The last was a figurine.  It wasn’t until I picked it up to look closer that I realized it was a figurine of a woman on a chamber pot with her bare butt showing.  When I looked this up (again unmarked) I found that these are called “naughty items” and also sell from $25 to $180.  Naughty or not, someone had good? taste!  She is in excellent shape also and will make a wonderful conversation piece for guests when you put it in your parlor.  The article that I read did not have this particular figurine but mentioned again that they were mostly made in Germany in the late 1800’s.

The Seller and I made arrangements for me to drive over.  After I received the directions I realized that my paranormal forces were working again because in six years since I’ve been back in Wolcott, I haven’t been in that area but within the last month I picked up things there.  Half of this job that that I love is meeting the people.  The woman who was selling them was wonderful.  She and I talked forever.  She even was selling peacock feathers from her peacocks and had a really mellow Corgi and a Rottie that she didn’t introduce me to.  I wasn’t sure if there was a reason for that so I didn’t ask.  She also had some cats so we were kindred spirits.  After she packed the two items she pointed to a box and said that she had just gotten them when a close relative passed.  I asked her if maybe she would consider selling any of them and so she started pulling them out of the box.

So, aside from what I have mentioned above, add to the pile what I call a “poyye chic” item because I can’t use the real chic name unless I ask Rachel Ashwell.  The platter has a hairline but again, it’s getting hard to locate pink and white antiques because so many people are decorating with “poyye chic items along with me.

Next up (or out) was a flow blue cup.  Sold!  I decorate my living room with flow blue (and here we go again with keeping stuff instead of selling it.  The only difference is that I’ve decided that each time I add something to the house I have to put one of my other house things into the shop).  I looked for at least 6 hours and couldn’t find the pattern.  It looked so familiar!  I just marked it Flow Blue Oriental and took it into the livingroom to set in front of a plate which (paranormal) wouldn’t you know it…..Was the same pattern and had the company name “oriental England” on the back with a mark of a loving cup and a beehive.  There is a chip in it but it matched that plate that my mother-in-law gave me so I was pretty pleased. I was so sick of looking at flow blue that I decided I would look up the mark later.

Next out of the box was a salad sized plate that was labeled “Fred Bevier, Funeral Director & Furniture Dealer, Wolcott, N.Y.” in very faded gold and was a monthly calendar for the year of 1913.  Has anyone noticed how many funeral directors were furniture dealers?  I do hope that they didn’t use coffins for furniture!  Aside from the fading there are no chips but it is heavily crazed (as am I).

And, then a blue and white cup and saucer which one web site had said was the “chintz” type and were made by Buffalo Pottery.  Of course there were no marks on this one but I did find one called “Marigold”.  Since this one has thorns on the stems of the flowers I just assumed that it was Hawthorn or Wild Rose.  I never did find it.  This one is really beautiful but has discoloration and two (I think) chips.  Next was a set of matching Geishaware Saucers with one cup.  This was pretty unusual for the fact that I have so many unmatching Geishaware items that I was somewhat surprised to find matching scenes in good condition.

And last out of the box was a Geishaware saucer in a different pattern.  I haven’t yet gone out to the shop to see if it matches any of mine.  It was in perfect condition though with an old milk glass basket with two handles holding a nest with an egg in it and then a chick with its head out of the egg.  This was identified by another website to be a 1900 Westmoreland piece but again, there is no mark.

So, this is what I have been doing since 8:00 am and it is now 3:20 pm and my daughter and her husband are due for dinner here at 4 pm!  I’m so glad that my husband does the cooking.  Any of the items in the pictures and above can be seen and purchased at Aussie-Magic Vintiques, 6150 Powers Road, Wolcott (315)594-1905.


What? You Doubled the Price?

I am finally getting back to normal (what is normal?) after my trip.  Miss Marta, my husband’s dog,  is still not feeling very well and my dog, Spider, still hasn’t had her blood results returned yet and Sam is starting to relax.  I’ve finally been logging in things.  I spend at least one hour for each item, trying to figure out what the most recent selling price is for each.

One of my friends said I was crazy to have mentioned that I charged twice the price that I paid for Good Will/Salvation Army items.  I’ve been thinking about that all day.  I can’t figure out why, if something is really worth $100, and I paid $1.99, someone would be insulted or angry that I only charged around $4.00.  There are many Dealers that are obnoxious in the fact that they go around bragging about how much they ripped someone off.  I think that is insulting and really not the reason why a person would buy and re-sell antiques.  All I want to do is make a living.  If I spend gas money to go somewhere and look at an item and try to talk the Seller into a reasonable price and then, if I can purchase it, return home, clean up the item, and spend at least an hour pricing it, I think that I am doing this because I love antiques.  I do mark things up.  For instance the metal things that are being purchased for salvage and that I know will be melted down and things that I love and don’t want to really part with.

I’ve almost actually sold an item on Craig’s list!  I’m so proud of myself.  I only put large items that I don’t want to ship on there and it is such a relief to make room for new things in the store.  I don’t deal with furniture very much because I’m not a very strong person so I try to deal in miniatures or medium-sized things so when I sell a large piece I get very excited.  This chair was purchased at a garage sale.  It took hours to clean the cat hair off because it is velour and I kept in my livingroom for over a year because it is so comfortable.  But then I realized that blue was not my color (mine is cream and green) and lugged it out to the barn.  I did double the price on this one!  There was a lot of work and time involved in it from shipping it to my house, cleaning and lugging it to the barn.  Is it so terrible to try to break even?  I guess what is terrible is telling you that I doubled the price.  I know when someone offers to buy it they will try to talk me down in price because I am an antique dealer and I won’t even break even usually.  I wonder if these same people try to talk down a loaf of bread at the grocery store or their Doctor’s Appointment with the Doctor.  Sometime I’m going to figure this whole thing out.  Meanwhile, I’m going to just enjoy what I’m doing and the people I’m doing it with.


Having a Mystery Antique Shop or Not Knowing What the Heck an Item is

This morning a “regular” Buyer called to make sure I was here and came over to shop at Aussie-Magic Vintiques.  The main reason was that he had been here about a month ago and purchased a Bird “something” and looked closely at a metal hand-forged Bird Whistle.  The “something” was made of wire mesh and was in the shape of the shoulders and head of a bird.  The eyes were glass and the head was removable.  Neither of us had any idea of what it was for.  The confusion lay in the fact that I had put Bird “whatever” on the receipt and he thought he had purchased the whistle and not received it.  After we straightened that out (he is a very easy person to deal with) he went over to a low shelf that had several figurines and paperweights on it.  We’re starting to think that this is a mystery shop because there are so many items in it that we have no idea what they are or what they are used for.  After chatting and laughing he made some purchases and said he would be back next month.

This is the type of client that I like.  I look forward to chatting with him and picking his brains on what my unknown things are.  I give him great deals because I want to sell items and change my inventory and he shows his appreciation by coming back about once a month.  No hurry, no fuss – just a little chatting and story telling.  After he left I fluffed up the shop and filled the holes that he had made and cleaned up a portion of the last room.  I noticed that I had a bare mannequin that I really needed to put some clothes on because she looked quite chilly so perhaps the next time, if it isn’t cold, I’ll go out and do that.

When I got back in the house I did paperwork (mostly odds and ends) and STILL haven’t finished it so that I can do some logging in of inventory.  I did write to an auction house about three platters of aesthetic Movement brown transfer ware that matched but were of graduating size to see if they could be included in their upcoming Aesthetic Movement Pottery auction but I really should have been replying to my messages regarding the sofa and two chairs that I had placed on Craig’s list.  There is nothing like running a business to keep yourself busy all day.  I do need to learn though that I should take two days off a week for personal chores and some relaxation.  I’m beginning to think that you have to be very motivated to run a business because I know that if I didn’t work at least 12 hours a day that the shop would go under like so many other small businesses in this area.  Luckily, antiques cannot be purchased at Wal-Mart or any of the other big outlet stores and I’m not a stuffy dealer that only sells high-end furniture and paintings.  These are fun items and I love them all which is why my shop is called Aussie-Magic Vintiques.

Take care and have a pleasant evening!  Noodles.