Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking ahead

Today, I enjoyed my cup of coffee as I looked out on the wintery wonderland snowscape outside. . .

 Off I went, in a daydream reminiscing about snow days as a kid. Wondering what winter will be like "out west" this coming winter as we are moving this spring. Day dreaming about taking the kids fishing from a fresh and clear mountain stream. 

I could practically hear the sound of the water as it rolled over the rocks and tickled the bank. . .

I could almost see a fish jumping out of the water to snatch a fly. See the glitter of the water reflecting the sun as the fish slipped back in the water after getting it's snack. Day dreaming about building a fire and teaching the kids how to clean, prepare, cook and enjoy the freshly caught fish...

Day dreaming of the sound of the trees swaying. Squirrels and chippies protesting the presence of people in their otherwise solitary living space. Hearing the birds chirping, maybe there is a nest of baby birds up in the tree waiting for their mother to return with some grubs for their meal too. I could almost see it, hear it, smell it, taste it...

Then, I hear it. "Mom, Mommy, MAMA!!! Can I have some more milk please?!". Then I get brought back to reality of breakfast time. 

What a wonderful glimpse of looking ahead!

I am so excited to share the outdoors with my kids now that they are getting old enough to really know what is going on! For the old saying is quite true: A happy kid is a dirty kid!!!

There are great things to come, great memories to be made, and lots of precious family time as I am looking ahead to the rest of this year!!!!   

And now I will go and spend some precious time with the kids now, because time waits for no one and the kids are growing up quickly!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Usefully Vintagely Antiquities



                         Collectible or Useful?

         Items made "back in the day" were made not only to be useful but also to be beautiful and have some kind of aesthetic appearance to them. Items were also made to be of a lasting quality. Very much unlike today in our microwave, throw-it-out-if-it-breaks-and-buy-a-new-one culture we live in today. 

         I have decided, in the spirit up upcycling and recycling, to not buy new furniture and other new household items. Instead of buying new I want to buy old and re-furbish, repair and bring life into old and/or forgotten items. My decorating idea would also bring a refreshing simplicity to my home in that my items would be both functional and beautiful much like this kitchen seen below.

            I have found plenty of things I could get for my house in dis-repair and needing lots of TLC to make the things ready for household use again. I do not want to make money, I am not a dealer in antiquities I just want to preserve history and use the items like they should be used according to their purpose.


Enter the problem. 

        When I find something I like and want to purchase  it/them the person(s) selling act like it is gold because it is "vintage" or an "Antique"  because those terms make more money than just plain "old" or "junk"

       Now don't get me wrong, I understand that some things are valuable so I am leaving credit where credit is due. Yet, it is very hard to compete with antique dealers who have more money than I do, in the quest to acquire objects for my home. 

       I understand there are collectors who may or may not have more money than I do. Money really is not the point of the problem. Collectors (the ones I know) collect certain things because of  the value associated with the object or simply because they love whatever it is they collect. Some will restore the object, others let them sit or some upcycle to give an object an otherwise unintended use. Whatever their motive, collectors do not offend me as much as the antiques dealers. 

        Now this is NOT a rant on all antiques dealers, or even on the ones I have experienced with. This is a venting on pricing regarding those two terms; "Vintage" and "Antique". As soon as either of those terms pop up, you know you will, most likely, NOT be getting a deal. 

      It is a true shame to have objects just sitting around that could be brought back to life and enjoyed for generations to come. Instead these beautiful objects because they are not thought of as useful, instead something valuable because of their scarcity because the new generation had to have the best and the new and got rid of grandpa and grandma's (insert whatever here) instead of passing useful things down to their kids. 

        I found a treadle sewing machine needing major repair and the people wanted over $200 for a common model because it was "antique" and very "collectible"! Even when explaining why I wanted it, they would not go down in price. I don't want to get rich off useful things. I do not plan on selling things that I fix up to use myself. That sewing machine could have had lots of life and brought back to its past beauty and now probably sits in a junk pile at the scrap yard. It is heartbreaking to me.

      One last example was of a dinged up (obviously well used) wooden baby high chair. It was basic, plain and probably made homemade by someone but it was OLD. The thrift store was going to clean it up and put it on the floor for $15 that weekend. I went back in that weekend and found out they refused to sell it to me because an antique dealer happened upon their thrift store and offered them $50 then someone from town found out (also an antique dealer) and offered them $75. This small town mommy of three can't compete with prices like that for something that needs some refinishing (money and time) to be USED again, not as decoration in a store or collection piece but the original intended use for the item. 

       Sure, there are some things beyond repair that can be succesfully upcycled or added to a unique collection. 

       For me, it is the principle. I am discouraged that I may not be able to have my simplified, multi-functional home of previously loved items. Items that I would love to pass down to my kids and their kids and their kids kids. I probably will have to make my own furniture for some of the things but they just won't have that HISTORY that previously loved items have. You won't get to imagine what other kind of home, kid, family used the item or where it came from, or where it was bought and made from. . . That (history) will be lost in the newness of  an object, only to be revived in generations to come when that newly created object of mine will, God forbid, have "Vintage" or "Antique" tacked to the front of my creation due to age.


  Until we can travel through time into the future to bring back the past I will keep on and continue searching for those lost artifacts begging to be brought back to life. Maybe I will come across some long lost history from my ancestors, you never know unless you get out there and look. I have hope that I will be able to find everything I need without paying Vintagely Antique pricing. There are things out there and I will find them! Historic items deserve to be used! 



Monday, January 14, 2013

Cold Weather Chaser

I found the perfect Cold Weather Chaser today. . . 

A nice, warm, wonderful mug full of Curried Lentil Stew!
*olive oil

*small onion, chopped
* 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
*1/2 can of diced, canned potatoes
*1quart of home canned tomatoes
*1 1/2 cups dried lentils
* salt and pepper to taste
*1 tsp dried basil
*2 Tbl curry powder
*1 bouillon cube (whatever kind on hand)
*1-2 cups of water to desired consistency 
*cinnamon to garnish
 ~ Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add potatoes and tomatoes and lentils. Stir well and bring to simmer. Add seasonings and water. Let simmer until lentils are tender (time varies depending on type of lentil you are using). Serve nice and hot with a dash of cinnamon on top!  

I made this recipe up using only what I happened to have on hand in my pantry. I made this last minute so I didn't thaw any meat out and if I had some I would have added carrots and celery!

To finish off my Cold Weather Chaser I made myself a nice, official cup of Chai Tea complete with milk and sugar! YUM!



Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Dawning of a New Year!

A new year can mean many things, such as:
  *New Goals
  - fitness
  - weight
  - career
  - relationships
 *Life Changes
  - positive outlook
  - moving 
  - loss of loved one/ones
  - birth of baby/ pregnancy

No matter what life is constantly moving, changing and like a freight train,time will stop for no one- no matter what. . . 

For me a new year usually means I sit down and reminisce on all the things of the previous year. Memories of camping with the kids, their first big road trip, spending time with family, celebrated birthdays. . . Those are the strands of yarn that weave together the tapestry of our life and each one is unique!

This year I wanted to do something different of writing a list of things I want to do in life and see how many I can cross off at the end of the year, instead of writing down a "resolution" that I know I will not be able to keep anyway, I wanted to do something realistic.

So for 2013, I decided I don't want to pay retail price for anything. I will seek those coupons, use my RR's, learn to be realistically frugal, and best of all enjoy my hobbies and use them to save our money and possibly earn money too!

Since I will be doing a lot more living "off-line" and enjoying the time with my kids while they are little I won't be posting every day. This is precious little time with them and I want to spend it wisely and savor it!

Well, I have a few more idea's for posts and I am so excited and can't wait to share the other goals I have for 2013! Happy New Year!