Deja Vu….. New England

My bucket list contained 4 very important things to me (gosh, that must be why it’s a bucket list!), one being a trip to Vermont. In the last 4 years, I have been lucky enough to vacation in New England twice. I absolutely love it there – don’t ask me why, but I have felt drawn to that area for as far back as I can remember. Our last visit there was in September last year, and it was a miracle that we were able to go. Bruce had a bad motorcycle accident in the mountains here last August. He completely severed 3 of the 4 ligaments that hold your knee together, which required a pretty extensive surgery. That was bad enough, but to complicate things even more, he already had our trip to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine lined out, plane tickets bought, and deposits on condos paid. So how was this poor broken fella going to make it thru the bazillion antique stores that were the biggest part of our plans? I guess where there’s a will, there’s a way. He started out barely being able to make it down our sidewalk on his crutches, but just kept working at it and building up his strength on them til when it was time to go a month later, he was darn near a pro at it. But getting thru airport terminals on crutches is no easy task. Flying out was dreadful. Making the connections was really a challenge. We did not check any luggage because we knew how hard it would be with just me as the pack mule. I had his carry on, my carry on, my camera, and one little canvas bag to pack treasures back from our trip. I knew restraint would have to be practiced (not easy for me when antiques are involved), and I would have to be really impressed with something in order for it to go in my treasure bag. We arrived safely, got to our rental for a good nights rest, and were off and running the next morning.

Our rental in NH for the 1st 4 nights

We stopped at every antique shop we came across, took our time wandering thru them, and really enjoyed ourselves. If we had a nickel for every time Bruce had to explain his boo-boo it would have paid for our trip πŸ™‚ .

We found this cute shop a day or 2 into our trek, and I found something I thought was amazing enough to go into the all important treasure bag.

And here is my awesome, super cool find!!!

 

Well, I sure thought it was – Bruce kinda looked at me like I’d lost my marbles, but he shrugged and went to haggle with the gal a little bit. He got her to come down $6 off the price, and the chief was mine! It’s a very old candle holder, the likes of which I had never seen before.

So, I’m just as pleased as punch, and we keep on shopping. Bruce is doing great, we’re having wonderful time seeing so many wonderful sights and beautiful scenery. I’m in leaf peeper heaven!

 

 

A few days later we drove to Maine. On the route 1 coastal drive from York to Wells there are a ton of amazing antique stores. We stopped at a very large shop in Ogunquit, and I found another small, extremely pretty (well I thought so) piece of history to go home with me. It was a beautiful little hand painted swan, made in Czechoslovakia. She was carefully wrapped and packed into the canvas bag with the other wonderful necessities I had found in our travels.

A few more days of sight seeing….

 

 

 

 

and too soon it was time to jump on the plane for home. It was tricky, but everything I had literally stuffed into the canvas bag made it home unscathed.

Now, the funny part about this whole story is, this summer I was rummaging at an estate sale where they had just dumped things everywhere at this property – inside the house, outside on tables and blankets, in sheds, barns, and shops – and what do you suppose I found

Yep, another chief! My eyes about popped out of my head. There was no “negotiating” over this one – the price was 25 cents!

And it wasn’t but a few weeks after this positively miraculous event that I was at our little town’s thrift shop, and low and behold

another beautiful little swan from Czechoslavakia! 1 Dollar! Can ya believe it? How ironic that we flew clear across the United States, I was lucky enough to find 2 lovely old things that I thought were so very unusual, just to come back to my little Montana hometown and find their near twins! What the heck are the odds?

TTFN πŸ™‚

Teresa

 

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The long, long journey, part quatre (part 4 :)) – the Big Move In

The boxes had been packed and were waiting on the front porch. All the closing paper work was behind me. I had cleaned and scrubbed every square inch of my little house. This was it – the BIG MOVE IN! I was nervous sick, excited, scared, tired, and more than a little overwhelmed. Some of Bruce’s friends came over and it was game on – just like a big ol’ fire brigade line, boxes were being loaded, furniture going out the door, people dashing past one another; it was like we all knew what we were doing! I could only hope everything would land safely at the new house.

Many hours later everyone had left. It was pitch black outside and it was just Bruce and I to take up the last load. My folks had kindly loaned me their big 4 horse trailer, which was wonderful because it was so big it cut our trips by 2/3 versus just having the back of a truck to load. The only problem was that the little house was on a dead end street, and it took some really good navigating to back that big old trailer down the street, turn it onto the adjoining street, and then go. It started raining, really raining. The last things in the load were several tall plants, and Bruce said he would ride in the back to hold them up and keep them from tipping over. Oh brother…pitch black, pouring rain, I’m near exhausted, nobody to help steer me cuz he’s in the trailer, and you guessed it, I turned too tight to get onto the adjoining street and crunched my Mom and Dad’s trailer with the truck bumper :(. So water is pouring down outside, and now it’s pouring down inside – my personal water works had turned on full faucet and I was bawling my eyes out. And it wasn’t just crying from the trailer incident, it was the whole last couple of months that came out all in one big tirade. I’m sure Bruce just felt like grabbing his hat and running!! But he hung in there, got me calmed down, we straightened out the trailer, and headed on down the trail. So there is a semblance of calmness now, we back the trailer up to the door and start unloading. I walk into the kitchen with my arms full, and there is a waterfall pouring out of the ceiling. OMG.

Source Flickr

Let the renovations begin.

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

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The long, long journey, part trois Get this house! (part 3 :) )

source Flickr

K, so I’m in the house, and once the angels quit singing, and sunshine beams stop blindingly bouncing off the walls, we start the tour (which was pretty much unnecessary for me cuz like I said, I was sold 3 feet in the door). Livingroom, big eat in kitchen, a nice sunny family room with a wood stove, 3 bedrooms and a bathroom, that’s the upstairs. Then, there’s a big ol’ basement yet to see! Yes there is! So down we go; another bedroom (not legal because there is no egress window, but who cares! It’s another room to decorate!!), a half bath (woo-hoo, more than 1 potty in the house!), a room that, if this basement had been an apartment, would probably be a kitchen, but for now, more empty space to decorate (yay), then, yet another family room/tv room. Thru another door a good sized laundry room (I have to admit, it really was scarey/icky to look at, but a whole room just to do laundry?…BONUS! The washer and dryer at the little house is in the kitchen and what a pain in the neck to have sorted laundry all over the kitchen floor on laundry day), and attached to that, a small work shop (also really scarey/icky). And finally, a good sized storage room off the would be kitchen type area, perfect for storing all holiday decorations and stuff. Back upstairs and out to see the yard. Holy smokes, this yard is a small farm compared to what I am used to – 10,875 square feet!! I am smitten!

So , there are probably a few things I wasn’t noticing due to the stars in my eyes (like the old windows, badly painted fakey wood paneling, the upstairs bath that was near to falling off the house, only about half the basement being sort of finished, no garage, the yard a complete weedfest with sickly unwatered trees, etc., etc.), but I didn’t care one whit! This house had good bones in my estimation, and it was BIG! Yowza, I could rummage til the cows come home! And have a place to put all those doodads I mean fine antiques, and just put those cows that came home out to pasture in the yard! (Just kiddin :), I wouldn’t really put a cow in the yard…a goat? Maaaybeee)

Then the seller’s realtor casually mentions that there is an offer on the house – WHAT???? How’d anybody see the house before me? It had only been on the market 1 day. Turns out one of the realtors in their office had a client that was looking for a place with this house’s specifications and they had gotten them in about the minute the house had hit the market. “So I’m out?”, I said. “Not necessarily”, she said. Their bid was low. Boy, I pursed my lips, put my hands on my hips and said “let’s write up an offer – FULL PRICE plus another hundred bucks if she’ll throw in the fridge. No financing clause, no closing date clause, no red tape – let’s just get this house”. Well, darned if it didn’t work! As fate would have it, I think this house was just waiting for us! The realtor told me that they had the house listed the previous year with nary a looker, no offers at all (that’s cuz it was waiting for me to come love it πŸ˜‰ ). HALLELUJAH!!! I’m in!

 

 

So, stay tuned for part quatre (part 4) of this spine tingling cliffhanger – the Big Move In!!

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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INTERMISSION

A quick break from the long winded long journey saga.

It was our wedding anniversary the other day! We made a fun day of it. There is a lot of awesome stuff to see and do in Montana if you’re willing to drive a tad bit to do it. Some of the touristy kind of stuff tends to shut down after Labor Day, so we decided to make hay while the sun was shining, and take a road trip. Mr. Bruce took a vaca day, we hopped in the truck and headed down the pike to Ennis and Virginia City.

Ennis is a cute little town, good art and antique shopping, the Madison river runs thru the town and is very popular with the fishermen. It was so busy when we were there I couldn’t get a picture of the downtown for all the traffic. I did catch these 2, a mere block off the main drag, having a nice apple snack.

 

 

We moseyed thru lots of shops, then went on to have a gourmet lunch of hot dogs and nachos at the gas station. Delish!! Onward to Virginia City –

Virginia City is a ghost town, brought back to life as a fun, touristy destination. I have been there innumerable times because 4 generations of my Mom’s family has lived and worked most of their lives in the Madison Valley. Here’s a quick picture tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine my surprise when I saw this picture at the museum, in the ladies bathroom no less.

It is a photo of my Grandma’s grandparent’s (so my great, great grandparents) general store in Laurin, MT. We were told lots of stories about her adventures there when she was a little kid. She and my Granddad are 97 years old now. They live here, but still travel to the Madison Valley at least once a month to visit folks there.

When we got home, Mr. Bruce gave me 2 very special anniversary presents. Someday I must learn to zip my lip and not whine about cool things I see but won’t buy because I’m too cheap. Being the good hearted fella that he is, he very stealthily picks them up and surprises me with them. He probably figures he’s getting off easy, because then he doesn’t have to listen to me lament about them for a week or better πŸ™‚ .

I thought these were just perfect Cottagelodge –

Cottage

 

Better Homes and Gardens is pretty cottagey, Fishes are pretty lodgey! It’s just right!

And the second present I think is just stunning!

A giclee of a red fox! If lodgey is your cup of tea, I’m sure you agree with me.

I surely appreciate our fun anniversary road trip! Won’t be too long til the snow flies, so it was wonderful soaking up some late summer sunshine and pretty scenery.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

Teresa

 

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The long, long journey – part deux (2 :) )

( Should probably have spelled deux , do, because that certainly would be indicative of the next few years of our lives – do this, do that, do everything!)

Alrighty then, we left off with beginning the search for a new home cuz I’m betrothed now, and for sure can’t squish a husband and all his belongings into my little house. Oh the drama and trauma! I’m scared out of my wits to get married (even tho he is a fine, upstanding, peach of a fellow); I have to sell my sweet little “itty bitty” house; my car is starting to have some nagging issues so I have to sell it and get a different one right in the middle of all this; and I have to find a new house – and not just any house – it has to “feel” just right.

This is not a big town. I am not a rich girl. Homes for sale here were pretty limited at the time. But, one bonus, my Aunt is a realtor, and she took me to every single house in my price bracket in this County. Nada, zip, zilch. They were all awful. I am not a nit picker. I have good insight and can see past purple walls with lime green trim. If a house has strange decor but good bones, hey, I’m in. Mr. Bruce was a carpenter for quite a few years before he became a SOTA (student over traditional age), so I was pretty confident we could turn a place into whatever we needed ( oh, ignorance is bliss – I’ve since learned boyfriends do stuff pronto for their girlfriends, husbands do stuff when they get around to it πŸ™‚ ). We looked high and low. Still nothing. Then one day, I went to work and my boss announced he had taken another job far, far away and was moving. I want to look at your house ASAP! He was happy to comply! I went over the next day, and even tho it wasn’t zactly what I was hoping for, it was a darn site closer than all those others I had seen in the months prior. Dang, I was settling, but the clock was ticking and had to get in gear. So I told him “sold”.

Meanwhile, I had been spreading the word about my little house being for sale. I wanted to sell it myself because it was important to me to be able to pick to whom it would go. I loved my dear elderly neighbors, and didn’t want some honyocks moving in, tearing up my good little house, and making life miserable for these people I held near to my heart.

Sure… why not add a little more stress to all the other stuff that was already going on!!! Great idea!! Ya, be your own realtor! Good one! (And, by the way, my realtor Aunt was thrilled with this decision – not!)

Well, as luck would have it, a girl I worked with was getting married the same month as me, and she wanted to come see my little house….. Well come on down!!! I believe my hand was nearly crippled by the time she came over a few days later because I’m sure I kept my fingers crossed for that entire time. She and her Dad covered every square inch of that little house with the most serious looks on their faces. I was a wreck. They stepped outside and conferred, came back in and told me she wanted it! YAY!!!

Okay, so somebody nice wants my little house, and I have found another house we can work with – good to go. Ya, right. Every weird nuance that could pop up does. Stuff gets all discombobulated – the girl I work with backs out (they decide they want acreage); another nice girl and her fiancΓ© come look and they want it, YAY again; they want in in 2 months; my boss isn’t moving for 4 months; he won’t close earlier; the new couple doesn’t want my house if they can’t close in 2 months; my Folks say I can move in with them (God bless ’em) but what am I going to do with all my stuff? Can’t afford storage, need all my monies for closing. BRUCE WILL BUILD A GARAGE AT THE BOSS’S HOUSE!! All my stuff can then go in storage there and I can live with my folks. Wait, build a garage at a house we don’t own yet? (and borrow the money aside from the house to do so)..not a great idea. TIME TO GO TO THE LOONIE BIN!!! BOOK MY ROOM NOW, PLEASE!

So, a few days later (no immediate openings at the Loonie Bin,so I’ve got a little time to burn), I’m looking at the local newspaper, and I see this little tiny ad. There is a picture of a house for sale, in my price range, no address listed, and the strangest thing – I don’t remember ever seeing this house before in my life! Now remember, I was born in this town. In addition, I am a rummage sale aficionado supremo, could probably be the best taxi driver this town has ever seen as I was sure I knew every back alley/side street/any and all houses in this town. For real, don’t recall ever having seen the house in the picture. Smoke was coming off my heels I ran to the phone so fast to call my realtor Aunt. I’m sure she was convinced I needed an exorcism when she heard my voice – GET ME IN TO SEE THIS HOUSE, little teeny ad, paper, don’t know where, NEED TO SEE IT NOW!!!! She’s like “what????????”. So I calmed down, backed up, and told her what I had found. She said she’d call me right back, which she did, and we were to see the house the next morning. In all my exorcited state, I forgot to ask where it was. She called me in the morning, told me the address, and I hot footed it up there. So strange – even looking straight at the house, I didn’t recall ever having noticed it before. She turned the key,we walked in, and I was no more than 3 feet into the house, and I knew I was HOME πŸ™‚

Holy Moses, is this a book or a blog?

Stay tuned for part trois (3 πŸ™‚ ), be there or be square.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

Teresa

 

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