Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello! I am a Horrible Blogger.

I first started a blog back in 2004 (actually, I had a short lived one even further back-maybe 2003?) and I was pretty good at keeping up on it. I would probably say it was a lifestyle blog with an undertone of homesteading arts. That blog even lead to a regular contribution on a shared blog at one point, but bad politics drove me away. Back then, photographs were rare and a pleasant treat on blogs. People just wrote out thoughts, it seemed.

A few years ago, I went through a rough patch in my life. This was around the same time I quit the shared blog. The rough patch grew and grew into a festering wound and one day I just quit blogging. I still read blogs and (I hope) still commented, but I couldn't face creating any more posts for that blog. I still have it, locked under password, because it is very hard to throw almost 6 years of your history away, but it's long since grown dusty and cold.

A couple of months after I closed up the blog, I found myself suddenly in a new city with a new job position. It was lonely. To compensate for the loneliness, I did the only thing I could think to do: go thrifting. And, I started blogging again with a new focus.

I have just never been able to feel this blog. I know it sucks. I know my photos are hastily taken (or just really bad-I would love to take some photography classes). I know my words are dry and predictable. I know this place lacks interest...or direction.

Sometimes I think about writing a post and it seems witty and sunny (this especially happens while driving). I mentally see how I will stage some photos, but, of course, it never happens. I blame laziness. And fatigue. Or maybe it is just lack of interest on my part to create something witty and nice.

I have such mixed feelings about where blogging has gone since 2004. Back then and, I would say, until maybe 2008, blogs were personal, like reading letters from friends. It seemed a whole lot easier. Now, it seems everyone wants to be a columnist or mini-magazine creators. And, while I do love many, many "professional" blogs out there and all the ideas and really good photography, I feel a little like a lost little fishie in a sea of big swordfish. I mean, it's a ridiculous feeling to harbor because I do not even want or have the time to be a blogging shark, I just don't know why I bother with all the work it takes to post words and pictures if all I can produce is substandard bullcrap.
And, I don't know where I fit in. I'm not young and hip anymore (oh, how I would have loved having this technology in my 20's!) , but I am a Gen Xer and I'm not ready to be old and gobble necked either (OK, I thrifted Nora Ephron's book over the weekend). For example, I have closets full of great vintage clothing and shoes and I would love to do some of those "What I'm Wearing" posts, but I'm camera shy. And, truth be told, I sometimes feel like I may be too old to do one! Then, thoughts like that one just piss me off. I mean I would never feel that way about another person caught in these f*cking middle years or any age for that matter. Why are we so hard on ourselves?
I also seem to suffer from blogging ADD. When I run down the options for subjects, this is what I get:  I probably seem like such a horrible mom (I mean what sort of mom leaves her kids to take a job transfer and then lets 2 years race by?), so I will never be a parenting blog (can't stand those type of blogs anyway to be bluntly honest). I also try to respect my children's privacy somewhat. I do love to cook, but I have no interest in sharing my creations. I have no time (thanks to job-again) to travel for fun. The farm is not much of a farm anymore, so I am not homesteading anymore (it's kind of hard to farm when you are away the majority of the week). I do plan to urban farm in the near future, but I have more pressing house projects to get to first. My marriage has been a mess for years, so no cute stories there. I do thrift, but that has caused a serious clutter issue and I have slowed way down.  I am not much of a reseller. I'm not creative or crafty. I guess I am a lifestyle blog again, but one stuck in a life somewhat twisted and strange (not necessarily in a good way). I have a hard time focusing enough to write a decent post anymore.
All of this mumble jumble nonsense is to say I am not sure I am going to continue the blog. I do appreciate the comments and visitors I've had over the past couple of years. Thank you for sticking it out with me! I do apologize for the boring posts and the crappy photos.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thrift Share: Summer Wind Down

Yesterday, the boys decided to go to the water park for a last "splash" before school starts next week. I thought I would stay home and get caught up on the mountains of tomatoes the garden is spitting out; however, I decided to go to the city (the one I grew up in) and go yard saling with my mom instead.

We got a bit of late start due to my travel time (traffic was hell), but I don't think that would have made a difference. Although numerous, the yard sales were horrible! I cannot stress how jealous I am of those of you with areas full of treasure-filled sales each week.

(Probably the best item gleaned from the yard sales: a box of study cards featuring the human muscles. I can't find a publication date, but I really like them!)
I mainly saw W*lmart crap with huge price tags. One lady even told my mother she wouldn't go down on a $20 item because Menard's sells them for $25. Um, ok. Walking back to the car, my mom says, "Menard's has them on sale for $15 this week." (I can't remember what the item was.)

While in route to the neighborhood sales, I had spied an estate sale sign and finally talked my mom into going. She was stopping at and most had obvious crap. I really wish we had gone to the ES first as it was pretty picked over. I did find a couple of things, but nothing spectacular. My favorite find at the ES was the old 1936 yearbook (they had 1936-1939, but they wanted a lot for them).

(Big pumpkin is newer merchandise, but I liked his retro feel; a plate stand, an old strainer; two 3m games; little shelf; granny afghan; and 1936 yearbook)

(The yearbook was the best find at the estate sale.)

Later, I had to go to the a department store for school supplies. I forgot there is a Salvation Army in the same shopping center. I found my favorite thing of the day there: a wool afghan. I stopped by another local thrift store and found three tiny handmade baskets with a maker's mark.

(Thrift store finds: small, handmade baskets; wool afghan; and hand knitted wash cloths)

On the way home, I stopped at a church sale near my house (they hold one every few months and I had doubts) and I found a few nice things there. And, the best part, their prices ranged from 10c-$1.00. I bought about ten ornate state plates marked only 10c each, including KY, TN, and GA. I wished I had made a quick stop earlier in the day.

(old knit blanket, muffin tins, table runner, 1/10 state plate, milk glass dish)

(State plate price tag-I left behind probably 10-15 others)
I guess I will hold out hope for the autumn sales, but I can find cheap, wonderful junk at the flea markets in KY all year long. This prospect makes yard saling less appealing to me anymore.  Oh, how I miss those glory days of Garage Sale yore when vintage, unwanted attic clutter ruled the card tables-and gas was less than $1.50/gal (sadly, not that long ago...)!

Like Flea Market Treasures? Apron Thrift Girl has a link up!

(And, Sophie, you are in my thoughts!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Land of Louisville

I live here.

Remember days ago I mentioned I still had another thrift find to share with you all? Well, the item will not exactly be "vintage" until next year, but I love it!

Yes, it is a map of Louisville! It is really big and I had a difficult time photographing it (coupled with the bad lighting in this old Shotgun house). It was published in 1993. Guess how much it cost? $0! I found it in a dumpster!

Here are some other items I have failed to share in the weeks past:

I'm looking for the perfect vintage bird!

Steamboat plastic wall art (I plan to paint this one of these days. I couldn't resist a steamboat image living so close to the Ohio).

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thrift Share: Mink, Cat, Cardinal

Thrifting less, but I had a few scores this week anyway. Everything pictured was found in Louisville. I do have one other (FABULOUS!) thing to photograph and plan to post about it soon. I apologize for the horrible photograph (as usual). The cat and cardinal are just more tchotchkes I probably don't need, and the wooden shelf is a spoon holder. The mink stole is vintage. The white shelf will look great in the new house.

Here is a close up of the cute, kitschy string holder.

These Kentucky bourbon bottles are a dime a dozen at the thrifts here, but I do pick one up now and then. I really liked this cardinal (KY and about dozen others' state bird).

I am currently struggling to pick paint colors for the new house. For the living room (aka "first room" in a Shotgun House), I have it narrowed down to French Lilac (grey with a hint of lilac) or Silver French (a silvery grey). I've painted the test squares, but they are so close and I'm not sure the first one has too much purple. However, I'm afraid too much grey alone will be too gloomy. I just can't decide...the main thing is it needs to look good with all my kitschy decor! I really like Victorian through 1940's (i.e. other than a bit here and there, I am not really a Mid Century vintage fan). And I definitely mix up the eras (I guess I would describe my decor taste's as Vintage Modern or maybe Bohemian-I have a ton of books and plants). Any suggestions or thoughts on these colors?

Friday, August 3, 2012

August, Already

I'm not really sure why, but I have never been a fan of August. Maybe it's like any "last month" of a season. At least here in the states, August is void of holidays and it seems like the month of in-between (in-between fun summer things and back to school grind). Whatever the reason, August is here and I am feeling my usual bout of overwhelm. I have a number of work projects to complete (we do the Fiscal Year thing at work and it is about to end), I have chores to get done, a very productive garden (I'm not complaining!) to preserve, a new house to organize, an old house to purge and clean, and two more weeks of travel for work. Yuck.

When it all piles on me like this, despite being a piler (and not a filer), the pile just seems to mold into one, big mess of work. It makes me feel scattered and less productive. Making lists definitely helps, but I am not good at accomplishing my lists (actually, the trouble is I make way to many lists on scrap papers, here, in my head and they become another mountain dump of everything). For me, the main benefit of lists is that it help me see that I only have 4 or 5 items to do instead of a mountain of things and it alleviates that feeling of dreadful overwhelm.

So, an August list I will make and I will try hard to remember where it resides:


  • Finish outstanding case files (9)
  • Put safety documents in a folder to be reviewed by team
  • Finish special operation plans
  • Jot down ideas for performance plan
  • Can regular salsa
  • Can tomatoes
  • Make pickled banana peppers
  • Try jalapeno jam
  • Dry extra Thai peppers
  • Can Salsa Verde
  • Make jam from old fruit in freezer
New Home:
  • Finish installing kitchen flooring (it is looking great!)
  • Find a kitchen island or work bench
  • Install roof on camelback
  • Focus on Living Room (LR) and Kitchen (K)
  • Paint LR and K
  • Hang blinds/curtains
Old Home:
  • Declutter kitchen (one room a month)
  • Finish painting kitchen
  • Rotate couches
  • Get items ready for sister's yard sale
  • Install tiles on landing
  • Paint window trim (exterior)
  • Have furnace serviced
  • Get 6 months of tax receipts organized (maybe make it less overwhelming in January)
  • File away old paperwork
  • Put together a new budget
  • Photograph items and revamp Etsy shop
  • Look into a booth at KY flea market
  • Make spreadsheet for rent tracking
  • Update lease
  • Buy school supplies for boys
  • Exercise at least twice weekly
  • Eat less sugar
  • Attend a neighborhood revitalization meeting