Snippet stories …

Snippet …  a small piece or brief extract.

From time to time, I will be sharing snippets of my life through this blog. The idea came to me while I was creating a list of items that I want to remember and include in a self-autobiography booklet. At first, I didn’t think there would be much on that list. However, as I thought of events and people, I started remembering more and more. As a result, it will take a long time to create the booklet. In the mean time, however, I will occasionally share a ‘snippet story.’

Snippet #1:  The Circus and Hula Hoops

I recently went to a locally presented circus with my lady friends and great-granddaughter. Most of the acts were trapeze, juggling and the like. The only animal acts were two gorgeous elephants and a few graceful horses. But what caught my attention was the woman who performed with hoops. She started with a few and ended up with many. Spectacular!

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As she started to twirl the hoops around her slim body, I immediately went back to my teenage years. My favorite physical activity at that time was my hula hoops. I would twirl them around my arms,  up and down my body –  as many as three at a time. Three not many like the circus performer.  My hula hoops were plastic; the circus performer’s were metal. How I loved my hula hoops!! I would spend hours, outside on the back sidewalk – hopefully where no one was watching – and twirl away. Now I couldn’t keep one of them around my waist for even a few seconds!! Of course, my waist is not the same as it was then.

What was your favorite thing to do when you were a teenager?

 

Thanks for reading!! I hope you will return. 

 

The Goose Call Escapade …

Recently we were sitting the deck, talking about my recent blog about my mother-in-laws autobiography booklet – (The Book of Edna … an idea for you). Her stories got us talking about our stories and remembering things we had long forgot. Silly and fun stories. We were also talking about Memorial Day and remembering family and friends who have passed. When you combine the two – silly and fun – and people who have passed – we remembered the goose call escapade.

Several years ago we went to the sprint car races in Knoxville, Iowa, with another couple who are long-time friends, Ron and Mary. Ron – at that time – was a local law enforcement officer; he also was a character. You could immediately tell by his sparkling green eyes.

The trip to Knoxville is a long drive from our homes in Princeton – especially with 4 people in the cab of a 1972 Chevrolet pickup. Even if you are friends. As side note – the pickup was affectionately called “Killer Truck” because it had a 427 chevy, big block engine in it.

For some reason, Ron decided to take out his goose call. (I am not sure why he had it with him.) Then he would randomly blow the call when we saw someone outside in their yard or walking on the street. Some people jumped; some people waved; and some others laughed. And we laughed a little.

Then we went by a woman who was bent over, working in her garden. (You know – bent over at the waist but standing.) Ron quickly blew the goose call. She did not wave. But she did jump. Actually, she tipped over in the garden. And we laughed – a lot harder than before. (She did get right up, but still … ) Now we wonder if she was the impetus for the garden signs that show the woman bent over.

Later, as we were driving in Mason City, Iowa, we had a motorcycle in front of us. Ron decided to blow the goose call again when we came to a stop. The  motorcycle in front of us tipped over !!!! but in slow motion. Then we really laughed. In fact, the motorcyclist laughed, too, once he had his cycle back up.  And we laughed some more. But then we decided we better quit blowing that goose call.

It used to be much easier to entertain ourselves.

Take a minute and think about what you have done in your life. I think you will be surprised how many good stories you have to tell.

Thanks for reading!! I hope you return.

Note: The picture in this blog shows up when you do a google search. I wasn’t able to trace where it came from. 

The changing skies … clouds and rainbows

On Friday night, we decided to go out for dinner. In light rain, we headed west and south, to Orrock, Minnesota – a very small unincorporated area near the junction of Sherburne County Road 5 (184th Street NW) and Sherburne County Road 4 in Orrock Township, Sherburne County — to the K J’s Refuge Bar & Grill. The facility serves traditional American food. We chose broasted chicken.

Instead of going home right away, we decided to take a little road trip on the way home, meandering back and forth on township and county roads, all within 15 miles of our home, crossing back and forth of Highway 95. We really haven’t done this in years so it was fun to see the changes in the landscape.

The rain had stopped but the clouds were amazing. Several times my husband stopped so I could pop out of our vehicle to catch a photo.

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Clouds and Chipmunks 086.JPGAfter an hour or so of driving, the skies changed – with a few raindrops here and there – but rainbows appeared.

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Heading home, we were a little surprised that we had spent two hours driving around – peacefully observing nature’s color show. What a fun time.

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Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

ReNEWing our landscape decor … meet Shirley and the winged goddess

One of my favorite things to do is paint … pictures, decor items, walls – it doesn’t matter. However, it’s getting harder to paint walls so now I find little projects to work on – such as reNEWing oiur landscape decor.

Meet Shirley. Shirley is named after my mother, who loved and collected frog memorabilia (especially salt and pepper shakers, which are now residing at my niece’s house). Shirley (the frog) was looking a little worn after a few summers outdoor. She was very faded and frankly, she looked like she should be sitting in the dumpster.

However, I just didn’t want to part with Shirley. So my husband gave her a new green shiny coat.

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Next it became my project. First, I painted the log she is sitting on – from it’s rusted, faded color to this ….

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Then I started on the face …

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And here is Shirley – standing proud on the deck – ready to welcome guests. I should note that the real Shirley had brown eyes – but the blue stands out much better – and never fails to get a comment or two from visitors.

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Shirley sits next to the refurbished winged goddess (fountain). The goddess is about 20 years old; she was very tired and  very faded. So my husband too her all apart, made sure the pump and all the other items were tight (because she used to leak more water than the water that came out of her pitcher), painted her with spray paint, and reassembled. Good as new.

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Behind the goddess, you will find this …

 

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And now on to the next project …

Thanks for reading!

Home of the tatanka …

Exploring in Jamestown. N. D.

Last week my friend and I made a four-day jaunt to Jamestown, N.D. My friend was busy during the days, so I decided to explore a bit. Keep in mind that it was quite cold (about 20 degrees) with a strong wind. Being late fall, there weren’t many tourist attractions open. I did, however, find the National Buffalo Museum, located not far from I-94. You can’t miss the world’s largest buffalo that greets you.

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The museum is in a 6000 square foot rustic log building at the Frontier Village.

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The museum focuses on the history of bison (buffalo) in the plains culture. It also includes remains of prehistoric bison, the firearms used to hunt bison, Plains Indian artifacts, artwork and a children’s room along with a gift shop.

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During the summer months, the museum also maintains a 25-30 head live buffalo herd, which includes one rare albino buffalo, White Cloud. The herd pastures on about 200 acres of land on each side of I-94 and are often visible from the highway.

During this article and in many places, you will find the word buffalo used interchangeably with the word bison. Technically, the American bison – which is very similar to a buffalo – only lives in North America; the two main species of buffalo live in Africa and Asia. Because they are so similar in appearance, American bison are commonly referred to as buffalo.

In the language of Lakota, ‘tantanka’ is translated as ‘buffalo’ or ‘bull buffalo.’ Lakota ceremonies and daily life revolve around sacred reverence for Tatanka. A white tatanka is the most sacred of all.

For more reading on the buffalo, go HERE.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Treasures from 2015 garage sales …

While I may go to a few more garage sales yet this year, the season has basically ended. The weather will be getting a bit too cold for sales. Here’s a season wrap-up highlighting some of my better 2015 bargains.

One of my hobbies is collecting dolls. My collection is mostly Victorian-type dolls, with long elaborate dresses over layers of undergarments, trimmed with frills, feathers, flowers, and ribbons. This summer I found three collectible dolls that caught my eye – an Ashton-Drake boy marine boy doll, a Danbury Mint Prince William doll and a Danbury Mint Princess Kate doll – all in great shape and for sale at very reasonable prices. They’re not victorian but are still worthy of a place in my collection.

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Once my ‘she cave’ is set up, I have big plans to do some sewing. I haven’t had a sewing area for many years but I have collected a LOT of supplies. This summer I found a few items that will help me sort and store these items.

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And this little item (which really is little) will help me finish off my designs  … it’s a baby serger — perfect for finishing smaller items, like doll clothes, etc.

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The summer garage sale season would not be a success without finding some treasures for the guy of the household.First, I found a replica of a bell from the Titanic, one of my husband’s favorite topics. He’s been studying the Titanic for years. And, secondly, I found a jigsaw to add to his developing wood shop. Both were bargains!

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And, finally, my last treasure –  vintage ruby red Cristal D’Arques Durand glassware (made in France). After a little research, I find there are a lot more pieces so I will be on the hunt for more of this glassware to add to my collection.

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Until next time, thanks for reading

Wrap up of the garage sale season – displaying your items

This blog is about displaying your garage sale items to maximize sales.

Have you ever gone to a garage or yard sale and find the items for sale spread out on blankets on the ground? That happens a lot … and while it is good for young folks, it’s not the best for viewing or looking through the items. For some of us who don’t bend like we used to, it also makes it hard to pick things up.

Often we find sales where everything is piled on tables … not sorted and sometimes a foot or more deep. This discourages looking through the items. Instead, neatly sort and fold the items. As in the photos, labeling sizes makes it much easier to look – and to buy!

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Also try your hand at creatively displaying items, much like a typical retail store. It’s a good way to catch the eyes of your shoppers. 001

There are a number of ways to keep your guests at your sale – which encourages them to look more thoroughly:

  • When it’s hot, offer cold water – or have a kool-aid, lemonade stand.
  • When it’s cold, offer coffee.
  • When it’s hot, use open-sided tents to cover the tables and/or have fans circulating air.
  • Offer snacks for sale … sometimes that’s enough to keep people shopping rather than leaving to go to lunch.
  • Have a ‘free’ box  – especially if you have small children’s items. It gives the kids something to do while the adults are shopping.

And finally, have some fun at your sale! We went to a sale that provided live entertainment. As we listened, we keep looking, and sure enough, found some treasures.

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In the next blog, I’ll show you some of my 2015 treasures.

Thanks for reading!!