Up On The Roof & Gumby

It was really windy today.  Things were whipping around in our backyard like crazy.  It always amazes me that our dirty old inflatable beach ball is still out there when we go looking.

There’s a weird downdraft at the top of our back wall that prevents stuff from escaping.  It doesn’t prevent them from dancing violently on the ground until the wind dies down though.  The beach ball never leaves home, but it sure does cha cha.

Wind like this always makes me think of my dad.  When I was little, a windy day usually meant Dad would be climbing onto the roof to check that nothing had blown off and away.

We had a long aluminum ladder that he would lean against the wall behind the garage.  Up he would climb.  Sometimes my brothers and I got to go with him.  It was truly a great adventure and treat – doing something dangerous with my dad.  Looking back on that with my grown-up eyes, I see now that the whole thing probably made both of my parents very nervous.

Having the three of us so keen to walk the edges of the open roof was worrisome enough, but finding wind damage would mean money, time, and inconvenience.

Dad climbed the ladder fearing the worst, I suppose.  And he always took his tools in hope he could fix things himself.

My dad was a true DIY pioneer back then.  He taught the three of us how to hammer nails, use a saw, and improvise, whenever we could.  On the roof.  In the wind.  Even in the rain.  Eventually though, Dad’s age and declining mobility would keep him on the ground and away from that ladder.

Husband and I are lucky enough to have sturdy clay tiles on the roof of our own house.  We don’t worry that the wind will mess with them much.  I wish my dad had experienced that same peace of mind when he was my age.

Then again, I’ll bet he really enjoyed showing us around the top of the world.  🙂

P.S.  Someone just knocked on my front door.  I peered through the peephole and spied a well dressed man whom I didn’t recognize.  I did not answer the knock.  What’s your policy?  Do you answer when it’s someone you don’t know?

P.P.S. And for your viewing pleasure, here is something I didn’t buy from the thrift store this month.  Ha!

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Thrift Store Treasures

On the way to meet a friend for lunch this morning, I stopped in Poway to visit my favorite collection of thrift stores.

Here are the little things that I brought home:

A painted Easter egg maraca for my son.  It’s filled with pebbles or beans or something and it makes the loveliest quiet rattling noise.

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A plastic Halloween bat flapper noise maker.  This is NOT a quiet toy, and as I predicted, he loves it.  I have already warned him against using it near the cat.  🙂

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A matchbox-sized wooden shepherd with his flock, his dog and a tree.  This was in the “25 cents” bin.  I LOVE it.

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A bag of plastic cookie cutters – the old school kind that I love.  They make an impression on the dough instead of just cutting out the shape.  The fish is my favorite.

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Two small spools of pretty cloth ribbon –  because no thrift store adventure is complete without pretty cloth ribbon.  Right?

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A small hand-painted blue and white dish from Portugal.  Was thinking soap dish when I first picked it up, but now I realize it’s a little small for that and who wants to gunk it up with soap scum anyway?  Not sure where this will go.

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And this little thing.  It’s just a reproduction of something – probably an antique cookie mold – but I love it.  I will have to hang it somewhere that my son won’t examine it much since it’s an older alphabet and doesn’t include all the present day letters.  It’s small – a little wider than a playing card.

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I also bought a little plastic elephant and a happy ceramic duck.  They are both camera shy.  (Read that as “my camera sucks.”)

Last week, I picked up this bracelet at Goodwill for just $2.  It has been on my arm everyday since.  Can’t seem to get a good pic of it.  It looks a little like abalone or another shell, but I think it’s just faux something-or-other.  I don’t care about its authenticity.  I keep getting compliments on it.

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I picked up this Wilton baking pan at the same store.  I love unusual pans and this one was pristine (hard to tell in my pic).  Turns out it’s designed for making baked crullers/twist doughnuts.  Here is Wilton’s pan info with a link to the recipe.  I haven’t tried it yet.  Will let you know when I do.

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My grand total for everything was $13.25.  That’s only a little more than going to a movie, it was spread over several days, and it was way more fun!

Just realized my elephant made it into the pan pic.  Ha!

🙂

What have you been up to lately?  Write a comment and let me know.

♥♥

It’s officially a collection.

I bought another Bundt pan.

That’s two in two days.

This one is more modern than the others.

It’s non-stick, silver, heavy, and made by Wilton instead of Nordic Ware.

And it’s beautiful.

See?

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It’s already on the wall with my red and blacks pans.

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Yesterday, I raised my eyebrows in wonder and slight disgust over the condition of the chippy yellow pan I bought on Sunday.  Someone was mean to it.

This one, on the contrary, was treated like the beauty she is.

The pan has clearly been used, but it was basically clean, and the previous owner had even kept the flimsy plastic insert to protect the pan’s interior.  Amazing.

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You can see some dust on the plastic piece – this is after I washed it with warm soapy water.

It was really gross, but the pan beneath it was happy and safe.

Now, I just need an occasion for popping these pans into the oven.

Send me your favorite Bundt cake recipes.

I also bought a few more children’s books and a teeny patchwork pumpkin.

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A few days ago, I swapped out all the books on my son’s display rack.

We now have enough Halloween books to read a different one every day in October.

Our Thanksgiving titles are in shorter supply though, so I was happy to find a few at the thrift store today.

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The display rack is mostly for seasonal titles.

He has a couple of tall bookcases in his room for other books and some of his toys.

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Heh heh.  I just noticed that Wreck-it Ralph is in the hospital.

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Brundibar is a Maurice Sendak book that I’ve had on my wish list for a while.

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It’s always nice to find a $20 hardback picture book in perfect shape and marked just $2 at Goodwill!

Can’t beat that!

I can’t really imagine paying full price for a children’s book – not when Goodwill actually has its own bookstores.

Unless you’re looking for a new release or a specific hard-to-find item, it pays to go second-hand.

My favorite place to buy books is the DAV thrift store on Elkelton in Spring Valley.  They seem to have a permanent half-off sale – all books and magazines too.

And their prices are low before the discount.

Anyhoo, here is a close-up of my little patchwork pumpkin.

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I am really quite ready to usher in the Fall.

In fact, I can’t wait to see miniature pumpkins at the grocery store.

They make me happy.  🙂

That’s all.

Well…except for here’s my kid and my messy house:

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Happy Tuesday!

♥♥

Still No Armadillo

Remember Gourdy?

I got a friend for him today.

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His mustache reminds me of Snoopy’s brother, so I named him Spike.

He is Gourdy’s Uncle Spike.

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He makes me laugh.

I also picked up a few children’s books (big surprise).

I found two small Wilton cake pans too.

The pans are oval – perfect for making Easter egg cakes next spring – and they were a steal at two for a dollar.

The price was extended to me because the vendor was an acquaintance of my brother’s.

It pays to hang with a sibling who knows the sellers by their first names.  🙂

My favorite find of the day is this chippy yellow bundt pan.

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It was dirty and neglected when I found it.

It astounds me that people can’t be bothered to scrub a bit before tossing things into the donate pile.  Gross.  Sad.

I’m not sure how well it will actually bake, given the abuse it suffered from its previous owner, but I love it up there on the wall above my spice rack!

I will try it out over the holidays, for sure.

A few months ago, I bought a small red bundt pan that hangs on the opposite wall.

DSC00240It’s chippy too.

I love them both.

That’s all.

Happy Sunday!

P.S. Look at this:

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I tossed some leftover ground cover into a planter pot a few weeks ago.

I actually thought it was dead.

I guess I was wrong.

Happy Surprise.

♥♥

Spice Storage

If the cute vintage spice cupboard holds fewer bottles than the ugly wire racks from Home Depot, then you get rid of some spices.

That’s what I think!

I was more than happy to sort and toss when I found this cheery yellow cabinet at a thrift store a few days ago.

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I cleaned it up with Murphy’s Oil Soap, but I left the paint as-is.

It was already chippy happy.

I love its curvy profile too.

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I tucked things like yeast packets and bouillon cubes into the little drawers.

Now, I just need to find another one!

I still have one last ugly Home Depot rack on the wall below it.  😦

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What are you up to this week?

♥♥

Tool Storage

A few months ago, I bought a shabby little wall cupboard at one of my favorite thrift stores.  It was cheaply made and horribly painted, but I liked it and it only cost three dollars.

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I don’t remember what I intended to do with it at the time.  Truth be told, I’ve twice tossed it back to the donate pile and subsequently retrieved it.

Today I finally put it to use.  Behold the latest unconventional organizer in our home – a shabby chic screwdriver storage cabinet:

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An empty almond body butter container is home to all of the miscellaneous screws we have accumulated in twelve plus years of home ownership.

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I drilled a bunch of holes in the top to hold the screwdrivers.  The wood sort of splintered and the paint chipped as I went along, but who cares?  It’s ugly under there, but it’s tool storage, right?

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The little drawers hold cup hooks, larger bolts and the wee little screwdrivers we use to replace the teeny batteries in our son’s interactive musical story books.

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I know it’s ridiculous to love a storage cabinet, especially one that’s so darned ugly…

but I LOVE my storage cabinet!  Don’t you?!

Happy Friday!  🙂

♥♥

Rose Bowl Flea Market & Thrift Store Treasures

I met some friends in Pasadena last weekend.

I spent Saturday night by myself at the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia.  This hotel is right on the 210 Freeway – convenient, but kind of loud.  If you’re a light sleeper, this may not be the place for you.

On the upside, the room was super clean, the hotel was nicely decorated, the service was excellent, and this was the view from my room:

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I didn’t mind the traffic noise at all and I felt very safe in the area too.  There are a ton of large chain restaurants and stores nearby and parking is free and plentiful, even at the hotel.

I thoroughly enjoyed moving at my own pace, wandering around a couple of stores, then going solo to a late evening soup and salad dinner at Mimi’s before heading back to the hotel for the night.

I found these four huge, sparkly ornaments on clearance at Kirkland’s for $1.24 each:

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On Sunday, I met my friends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.  Have I told you how much I love that place and wish, with all my heart, that I could go to it every month?  Sigh.

I picked up an odd assortment of things this time.

First, there’s this:

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He is missing a foot (fin?) and has been wrapped in the middle with fishing line to keep from coming apart, but I love him.

He’s made from a gourd or some kind of seed pod and he is filled with little stones that make a very pleasant rain stick kind of sound when you move him.

Um…yeah…if you know me, then you know it was not possible for me to leave without this guy.

I’m not sure what to make of the mermaid and her friend on his back:

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I also found my favorite ribbon vendor and picked up a few things in her 3/$5 bin:

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I found two more Delft-style milk maids too.  I don’t know if I really love these ladies though.  Their faces aren’t as sweet and well painted as the other two I have, so I’m not sure I will keep them.  For the moment, they are in the china hutch with the others.

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I love these little Matryoshka egg dolls:

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I’m not sure how exactly to display them, since they won’t stand up on their own, but they amuse me!

I picked up the sweetest little wooden duckling too, but the ten-year-old promptly claimed it on my return.  I haven’t seen it since.  😦

My favorite find of the day was this wire cake stand:

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The seller wanted $15.

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I offered $10 and hoped she would take $12.50.

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She took the $10!  Yea!  The silver stand below it is another of my favorites from long ago.  Just one more and it’s a collection, right?  Uh oh.

When hunger hit us, I wasn’t in the mood for our usual Italian place, so we ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  I rarely go there, so I never know quite what to order.  This time, I copied my friend – faro salad and fried avocado egg rolls.  Oh my, was that ever a tasty lunch!

We wandered the shops for a while and then went to Goodwill and an unexpectedly large and interesting antique store in South Pasadena before parting company.  It was a disappointment to find the Out of the Closet thrift store closed for the day, but we all felt pretty good about our other adventures.

What a great weekend!  Good friends, good food, good finds, good fun.  Thank you, Leighann and Corina!!

Back on my home turf and apart from my son after three and a half long weeks of winter break, I wandered through the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores near my home yesterday.

I picked up a little wooden candle holder:

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and I found this amazing little wooden stool:

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At first glance, I thought it was painted.  It’s actually decorated with beads.  They are hammered into the wood.

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I would love to know how the artist did this.

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The wood seems soft, but surely there’s a secret.  The whole thing makes me swoon.  It’s clearly hand crafted, an interesting shape, probably Mexican or central American, colorful, detailed and lovingly made – just my taste!

And that’s it!

What did you do this week?

♥♥