Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pickles, Ghosts, Washers and Such

I am being buried in pickles! It seems like every time I turn around Larry brings in another five-gallon bucket full. I made another 14 quarts yesterday and a new bucket awaits me today. Tomatoes are also coming in by the buckets and I'll be working on those today. All this bounty is glorious, and I am trying to get it all put up as quickly as I can. Being sick last week put me behind and I feel like a hamster on a wheel trying to catch up.

I am so excited about the new project I've been working on: the Ripley (WV) ghost walk! I have found quite a few stories and now have a source for more in a stack of old newspapers. A local business man also told me several good stories about his building when I stopped in the other day. We're hoping for grant funding for this project; I spent yesterday evening alternating between the pickles and working on wording for the grant. I think the pickles may have suffered from being left in the water bath too long, because when I get started writing I lose track of time.

Stories for the ghost walk so far include two hangings (one quite famous, the other lesser known), a drowned preacher, disturbances in old buildings, lost treasure and much more. I can't wait to dig into those newspapers to see what else I can find. We mapped out the route yesterday; it will be about one mile with only one slight incline, and out of the main traffic routes for the most part. I ordered a small voice amplifier last night for this project,one that I can easily carry. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Speaking of ghosts, I think my washing machine is about to become one. It made  sound like a death rattle the other day and now it won't spin. Larry is going to pull it out and look at it to see if it's just something stuck somewhere but if it's really toast then we already have a lead on another new-to-us machine.

I have finally gone back to the local writing group after a two-year absence. I am hoping to get back to doing more creative writing (stories and poems) but right now the gardens and other projects are not allowing much free time for it. It's been nice to see the other members and hear what they've been up to. Some good novels seem to be in the works--one for middle-grade students, the other for adults. We also have one poet, one lady who is a preacher and works on her spiritual writings, a poet and short story writer and me. Others come and go so it's an eclectic gathering of styles for sure.

Back to the kitchen and the tomatoes this morning! I hope you day goes well and that you are well and busy too.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Recent Finds, from Teapots to Lamps to Clocks and Everything in Between

We did a little shopping for new stock last weekend, and came home with a lot of new things for the booths, a few for eBay and even a couple to keep. I am also trying out selling on Facebook on the Anything Vintage Kitchen group. So far sales there have been good; it's a little more trouble than eBay but the only fees are those for Paypal.

Here's a look at some of what we gathered up last week, after it was all washed up, repaired, etc:

I really like this lamp. Even though my house is rustic, I think adding elegant items to it makes an interesting contrast. I will be selling this lamp though, since I already have too many.
 Larry took this clock apart and cleaned the workings which were all gunked up. Now it's running great and back to usefulness. I love that. It sold this morning on the Facebook group (pending payment) for $25.

I have tried to find something like these shot glasses online but no luck. They are ruby flashed over amber, as far as I can tell.

This pretty Sadler teapot needed only a good bath to be ready for tea. I love the design and colors.

There are two of these Lefton plates; such lovely detail and color!

This enameled butterfly box sold on Facebook as soon as I listed it last night! It's already on its way to a new home right here in West Virginia.

The dome and cake stand below don't really go together, I just stacked them for the picture. The cake stand is a thistle pattern, very pretty.

A Blenko beaker in blue (say that 10 times fast!) was a thrift store find. I found the brass owl bookends at an antique mall for a good price.

Lots of stuff! 

I'm still holding on to my green table even though we really don't have room for it. The problem is, it's in a great "catch-all" spot! Everything seems to get put on it when we walk in the door.

That's a look at some of what we found. Maybe we'll find more this think?

If you're interested in any of this, drop me a comment below and we can work something out!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weird, Wacky News from West Virginia

It's been an odd week in West Virginia. The rain has been torrential at times, coming straight down in sheets and overflowing creeks in no time. But the weather hasn't been the strangest thing this week. Consider the local news:

First, a bank robbery in our small burg. This caused schools in the area to be on lockdown, closed at least one of the main routes into town, and caused my eye appointment--my first in 20 years--to be rescheduled. The robber is still at large, schools are on lockdown again today, and there was a possible sighting of the suspect a few miles from the robbery this morning. The man who is suspected of the robbery is also wanted for the murder of the one-year-old daughter of his girlfriend about 50 miles away from here. I hope he is apprehended, and soon.

Second was this news report this morning about an accident on Interstate 79 not far from Charleston, WV, and about 70 miles from my home. I am trying to imagine the scenario--chickens and ammo scattered everywhere. Armed chickens making a break for freedom? Or, as my friend Judi said on Facebook, pullets with bullets? It creates some strange mental images. Sadly, not all of the chickens made it, and a dog that probably caused the wreck by trying too jump out of a window also did not survive. After reading the news report, however, I am very glad this man was stopped because he seemed to be up to no good. "Improvised explosive device"? AK47? Doesn't bode well, does it? He'll have some explaining to do. This whole thing reminded me of the guy with 500 chickens in his van that I wrote about some years ago.

And then there was the conversation I overheard between two guys waiting outside the Day Report center. I guess this is a place where people on parole have to check in? I was headed to the Downtowner for lunch but slowed up when I heard one of the men mention opera. That made me curious! All I heard was this: "I knew something was wrong when she started talking about opera. I raised that girl on country music and bluegrass. Then when we were huntin' she started talking about opera." 

Sounds like the perfect beginning to a country song, doesn't it? I started right in on it when someone suggested the idea on Facebook, and here is what I have so far:

We was headin' to the woods one rainy fall day
when my woman turned to me and I heard my woman say
Well I know you like your guns and your banjo and your Tonya
but as for me, well honey, I love the opera!

She's got her cowboy boots and her 30-30 rifle, 
she looks real fine when she's carryin' my duffle.
 But I can't stand it when she opens her choppers, 
and she starts singin' that classical opera!

Friends suggested adding verses about how she's redone the house in chintz and pink florals, towels with embroidery and fine corduroy, bought furniture from Ikea, and gotten above her raisin'. So, anyone want to write a verse or two for this sure-to-be-a-classic country song?

All of the above has made my sick days not boring, although some of it is worrying and saddening. I'd blame it on Dog Days but honestly, I think the finger needs to be pointed at humankind and the troubles our kind get into.

Anything exciting or strange to report from your neck of the woods? Surely West Virginia isn't the only place with strange goings-on these days.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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