Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wisconsin Treasure Hunt

Yesterday I arose at an ungodly hour to catch the 6:56 am Metra to Wisconsin, buoyed only by the prospects of fresh treasure awaiting in the wilds of Sturtevant. And it was SO worth it!

Laurie had boarded the train at Ravenswood even earlier than I did in Evanston, and such a schedule had not given us time for more than a cup of coffee before heading to the station, so once our partner in conspicuous consumption Mary picked us up in Kenosha, we headed right over to the The Coffee Pot. Mushroom omelets and stuffed nutty waffles were consumed, and the hearty fare sustained us through the entire day and three antique malls chock-a-block with goodies.

So, now to the loot:

I picked up these pieces of sheet music for a song (sorry!)--and guess what? The only one that doesn't include chords for a uke or guitar is... wait for it!... Aloha Oe! Go figure. But it's worth it to have that cover with its attribution to H. M. Queen Liliuokalani. "Love's Old Sweet Song" I bought for sentimental reasons. It's one of the songs my daddy used to sing to me as he tucked me in when I was very little. His repertoire also consisted of "Red River Valley" and "The Old Spinning Wheel" (for which I also have the sheet music). The other two songs I bought I don't know yet, but they have uke chord diagrams, so I'll figure them out sometime soon. I just liked the covers.

This tablecloth and napkin set had just been set out in one of the booths at School Days Antique Mall when I scooped it up for a mere $10. The tablecloth has some stains and weathering, but I think it a good soaking in a non-chlorine bleach solution should take care of that--or at least mitigate the problem.

School Days was also the place I found the navy blue straw hat with its red embellishments. If I can find a nice dress to go with it, I might just wear it to Erin and Tom's wedding later this spring.

So help me out here--is the little ceramic tsotchke an elven pig or a piggish elf? I could not resist the weirdness. And, remaining true to my magpie nature, neither could I resist the strange nephew-art Christmas tree topper. Why? Well, 1) because it is sparkly and 2) because it is sparkly.

Here are a few more goodies I picked up on the hunt: A box painted with a desert scene, a bracelet with crystal and pearl details (we all bought bracelets, by the way--once I had the case open to inspect MY bracelet, Laurie and Mary could not resist the lure of the other two that shared the velvet board with mine), a transferware Cape Cod souvenir plate and a hand-painted souvenir plate from Los Angeles (one of these days I'm going to have to put my souvenir plates on display again--yet another item on the ever-growing to-do list...), and one of the finds of the day--a school girl's journal from the 1920s. Let's look inside!

First up under "Spreads and Entertainments" is an account of a birthday dinner journal-writer Viola's friend Beverley's mother threw for her. It begins, "Mrs. H--- invited Alma and me over for dinner the day of my birthday.... Mrs. H--- surely would take first prize for her wonderful cooking. Boys, if I were you, I'd shine around Beverley!"

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering what "Elk's Big Production" touted in the clipping was, it was that famous musical "Lets Go Peggy." Heh.

The book has many newspaper clippings reporting on the results of high school football and basketball games, and Viola seems to have had a soft spot for a varsity letterman named Donald. However, in the back of the book there is an empty space where Donald's photo once resided, and his name is struck through. Alas, the vicissitudes of young love. One picture, however, is given the place of honor on its own page where it has lain all these years protected by a small sheet of parchment:

It's hard to top Viola's School-Girl Record, but I think that this might come close:

It's there on the right, sharing a place of honor with Jeff's mystic eye fez. It is not the bejeweled wonder that many Shriner fezes aspire to be, but its cache of cool lies in its simple metallic embroidery and its tassel of delicate brass springs. Not that I wouldn't make a beeline to a bejeweled fez if I saw one for sale (especially if it were from Moolah temple--now THAT would be awesome!)... but I like this simple old guy just fine.

I also scored a pile o' old linen postcards--two of which were of my hometown. No photos of those--at least, not yet.

Oh, and as promised... here's a photo of the lovely new concert uke to close this entry:

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Happy Foolery Day!

But I swear, there are no April Fool's jokes embedded in this entry!

Once again, it’s been a long time since updates… sorry about that.

But let’s get going… here are some random thoughts and general updates, in no particular order:

It’s amazing how much money one can save by brown-bagging it for lunch. Most of the cash that was in my wallet on Monday is still in my wallet today (and I have tomorrow off…). Of course, one trip to Borders or Barnes and Noble and whoosh! Time for another trip to the ATM.

New job is coming along nicely. I like getting a nice stretch of the legs to and from the L, and I like having some time to read coming and going. Good to have a gig accessible by transit.

I can’t tell if the kitties actually like each other or not. They seem to fight a lot, and Mifune growls at Mingus when he pokes around her. But he does bother her a lot. They may have taken his cojones when he was 3 months old, but he’s still a tomcat who appreciates a lovely lady kitteh when he sees one. And he’s almost as big as she is now.

Good grief, but is it a gorgeous day! Although true to Chicago form, we are being warned to expect cooler than seasonal temps by Sunday. Figures.

Guest room/office is painted and new (well, newly assembled!) bookcases are in place. It still is a receptacle for boxes of stuff that we hauled out of there in the first place (not as much, though, as we made a big donation run to the Salvo). We have yet to purchase a new futon and frame, and I’m looking for just the right sized filing cabinet for the room, and then we’ll be closer to finished with it. The new color looks nice. I still haven’t uploaded pictures, but I will soon. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

I’m a bit worried about Mom. She seems to be having a bit of a bad reaction to some antidepressant medicine her doctor prescribed a month or so ago. She’s become rather anxiety-prone and occasionally fearful to leave her house, and that’s not like her at all. Brother John and I are trying to alert her doctor to the problem, but he seems rather sanguine about it. We think it is time she consulted a gerontologist. After all, she is nearly 92. Send some good thoughts her way!

Finally got the tax info and receipts to the accountant. Hope there is a refund coming!

There seems to be a singular dearth of Cadbury Crème Eggs this year. What is up with that? Easy-peasy to find the Cadbury Caramel Eggs, but not the luscious Crème Eggs I so crave each Easter. I have found, purchased, and consumed one package—and that was at the local Aldi.

Speaking of Aldi, I finally shopped in one after all the years I’ve been living in Chicago. For those not in the know, Aldi is a discount supermarket that has knock-off brands for really cheap prices. They opened one up beside our local Pet Smart, so the last time I went to buy Mingus’s kitten food, I dropped into Aldi as well. I’d been waiting to check the store out, as Jeff told me that decades ago he found a whole chicken in a can—bones and all—at Aldi. Well, I saw no canned whole chickens there, but I DID find some gorgonzola crackers—a big box for $1.69—that were surprisingly tasty as well as the aforementioned 4-pack of Cadbury Crème Eggs. And a box of raisins that was also dirt cheap. And fine, except for the raisins are very sticky. Don’t think I’ll make shopping there a regular thing, though.

Oh! And I have a new uke! A concert uke made by Kala. It has a cedar top and Koa sides and back. Sounds lovely! Pictures to come.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,