Monday, November 24, 2008

Another treasure added

Every now and then I like to peruse Ebay. I go to the section called EAPG, or, early american pressed glass. Since the early 80's I've been collecting a pattern called Minnesota. It was made by the U.S. Glass Company and there are 64 different pieces available (in Minnesota pattern), some more rare than others. They were manufactured in the mid to late 1800's, and were the poor man's version of cut crystal. I happened to be looking around the EAPG section the other day and found this little treasure. I already had one large dresser jar, but this little one was so cute! And cheap! $9 added this beauty to my collection and I couldn't be more thrilled :)

Trip to Reno

Lake at the top of Hwy. 4
Reno in the distance
Wow! We had a wonderful time taking a little trip to Reno. On the way over we had the Tahoe loaded down with the desk and bookcase for Katie, a box full of kitchen items and a turkey for Ri, and a chair headed for Ri's house as well. That, along with our luggage, made for a full Tahoe!! We started out on Sat. morning and just "meandered" up to hwy. 49 to Jackson, making stops along the way at the kitchen store and of course, the Harley dealer. It was a very relaxing trip over the hill. We were able to meet the Bronco fans (Casey, Lisa, Marie, and Ri's friends Meredith and Stacy) for dinner Saturday night. Lots of fun and so nice to just visit again. The guys transferred all the goodies from our car to the other two cars divvying up all the bootie, while us girls enjoyed a leisurely stroll thru the nearby Barnes and Noble. Sunday morning we met for church at the OPC in Reno and then headed home once again. What a nice visit and ride.

Latest Project

One of my latest projects was cleaning up and repainting this desk and bookcase for Katie to go into her new room! The desk has traveled around the family a bit. Les and I purchased it new and unfinished from Al's furniture. It started out in Casey and Jerry's room, then moved to Mark and Philip's room, and now back here again for the last several months while we decided what to do with it. As you can see, paint and some new knobs can make quite a transformation! So nice to see it all "girly" and ready for Katie to make her mark on it too!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From the Tool Shed to the Living Room

This old buffet, which I have loved since I was a child, has finally made it into the living room. If I had a dining room, it would be there in it's appropriate place....but for now it resides in the living room. It has a long history in our Van Laar which each of us remembers in a slightly different way. When I was a child, 5 or 6 I believe, my Dad brought this home from the Modesto Cattle Auction. Just the thought of the auction brings about the memory of the sights and smells...from the auction ring with it's sawdust floor and bleacher style seating, to the auctioneer with his fascinating speed talk I could never understand, to the coffee shop on site where we got a treat! There was a huge Quonset hut there filled with antiques....mostly estate sale stuff. I am assuming that this is where Dad got the buffet. My love for antiques and anything with a history was in place already at that age. I absolutely LOVED going into the Quonset hut at the auction. People's lives were spread out there in the dust for all to see. Rich, poor, and in between. Lovely burl bedroom sets with marble topped side tables, old discarded wringer washers, and Formica topped kitchen tables accompanied by red vinyl and chrome chairs. The buffet came home in the cow trailer and was promptly placed in the tool shed. It had two drawers which locked (the top ones were lined in burgundy velvet) and seemed a good place for Dad to "lock up his tools". It had some nice storage space as well as another counter top to work on. Work bench space was a premium in the tool shed. With 4 boys who wanted to tinker too, there was always something spread out on the counter. I thought it was much too lovely a piece of furniture to be treated that way, but Dad was a practical man and the buffet served him well as a cheap work bench. If you look in the pictures, you will see where motor oil was spilled across the top and down the front and left side. There were bits of red paint dispersed all over the top and front..... International Red, of course. There was some green too, though I don't believe Dad ever had a John Deere! It was also known in the family for having the name my brother's teased my older sis with, emblazoned in red spray paint on the back! I won't write it here...she might come for me! I was living in Washington as a newlywed when the day came for Mom and Dad to move off the farm. "Dad, please, I want the buffet!" "That 'ol thing?" "Oh yes Dad, I'll fix it up!" The buffet journeyed to Washington and back again. It sat in the garage on N. Ripon Rd. for 8 yrs. being used in the capacity it had grown accustomed to....storing tools. Then it moved "home" again nearly 23 yrs. ago with lots of promises to "bring it in". Finally she's here...she shined up better than I imagined. Do you see the glow? Briwax and Formby's is all it took. The motor oil? Well, I just think of Dad, the auction, and good memories. Besides, it's great storage, don't ya know? When Mom moved to the home, I got all her "good" dishes and silverware. They're now stored in the perfect place. Dad's old tool box and Mom's good fits doesn't it?

Monday, November 3, 2008

It must have been Electrifying!!

Facing south in the blast zone where the tree used to be! Our friend Art parks his truck on our yard and occassionally works on it here as well. Last Thursday he was working here and a big thunder and lightening storm rolled thru. He heard a big lightening crack and instantaneously the "boom". Uh oh, he thought....that hit right here on the yard. But after looking all over the yard and up at the barn (after all, it's the highest spot), he could find no evidence. It wasn't until Durk came to push brush on Saturday that we discovered the "hit". It was out in the orchard about 10-15 rows north of Bacon Rd. Durk had noticed odd shredded pieces of wood laying here and there and wondered...where did THOSE come from? That's not what chain-sawed wood looks like....and some of the hunks were far too big for the pruners to have left behind. Then he saw it, a tree that had been literally "blown up" and out of the ground. We went to have a look, and here are the pictures I took. They don't nearly show the scope of what this "blast" must have been like. The wood pieces are in a radius of approx. 300+ feet. We found wood from this tree across the road south of Bacon and nearly to Jackson. It appears that the lower 3-4 ft. of the tree (the main trunk) was just blown apart into shreds. The trees around it also took a hit from all the flying wood, aparently. They are all skinned up and shredded wood is dangling from limbs 10 rows away. I know it's hard to see on the pictures, but if you look amongst the leaves you will notice the shredded bits of wood. They range in size from a couple inches long to 3 ft. long! Awesome!