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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Treasure Time!!

I don't know if I shared this yet with everybody, but after retiring from a career in nursing, my plan was to renovate an older house across the street from where we live and eventually open an antique and collectables shop. Just for fun.

Our little town sits on a lake and has a lot of other little shops that are visited by the summer tourists frequently. Many of them are old homes that have been turned into shops, and they have been quite successful.

So, my husband has been working hard on renovating a building for me to have a little shop in.

We think it will be ready late this autumn or by the next year's tourist season.

Part of the reason I had this retirement dream was because we have collected antiques and collectables all of our married life.

We had a huge Victorian house full of them for over 15 years and when we built our log home on the lake, we sold part of them and put the rest in storage for the future dream of having a shop.

We still go to rummage sales, auctions, and estate sales whenever we can. We are addicted, and now, with the shop coming in the horizon, we will again have a reason to feed our addiction.

Which brings me to today's post!

Yesterday, there was a small ad in the paper advertising an estate sale that was only going to be going on the next day for four hours in a town about 30 minutes away from where we live.

So, we made a "date" to go out to eat a nice breakfast and then get to the sale a few hours before noon.

By the time we got there, we walked in the tiny house it was being held in, and it was almost naked. Evidently, the sale was so successful, they sold out of almost everything before we got there. There were a few things left on the dining room table for sale and then the guy said there were "boxes" in the garage and that if we wanted to rummage through them, and make an offer for anything we wanted to buy, we could do that.

Now, this was great news to us. A treasure hunt!!!! Bring it!!!

We found some great things at some incredible prices.

First buy:

a pretty blue, pressed glass candy dish:

Then, I spotted this really cute puppy PAINTING stuck behind two boxes in the garage:

Then, my husband had to have this God-awful, uglier-than-shit unique wooden bird bowl:

And stuck in a old grocery shopping bag with some other dishes was this goofus-glass vase:

Next, we found this: (Do you know what it is?):

Here is another shot, with the lid off to give you a second guess at what it is:

This is a salt dip. Back in the day, at fancy dinners, women slaves hostesses would place one of these at each place setting for guests to dip celery etc. into.

They had a set of 8, but only had 6 with covers. We bought the entire set. The people selling them didn't have a clue what they were as I laughed all the way to the bank.

Next, we spied this: Do you know what it is?

We have three of these at home. This one is a newer "remake" of the old antique ones.
So we decided to keep this one at home and sell our other three at the shop.
Any quesses yet? Here is another clue of how you use it:

It is called a "ricer". We bake potatoes in the microwave and when they are done, we cut them in half. Then, with the cut side down, you place the potato in the bowl part and lower the handle and squish the baked potato through the ricer and it comes out of the little holes and looks like rice. But the baked potato tastes great this way, with a little added sour cream or butter.

Next, I saw this curious box in the garage, buried under a pile of stuff. I thought I knew what it was. What do you think it was?:

When you look at the next photo, you will know for sure:

The box looked like new, so I started to get excited. Because I knew it was very old. So, I carefully unhooked the locks on each side of the box and look what I saw inside!!!!:

There was one of cleanest, hardly-used OLD portable sewing machines I have ever seen. A cute little cast iron Singer portable electric sewing machine.

Surely, I thought, it doesn't work after all these years. Too bad it doesn't have its original manual or parts to it. But it would make a really cute display item in the shop.

I asked the guy how much he wanted. he said: "Make an offer!" I jokingly said: "Three dollars? It probably doesn't even work!" He said: "yeah, your guess is as good as mine...sure you can have it!"

Thrilled, I re-hooked it and took it home.

We got home and I unbundled it again. And plugged it in. It purred like a kitten...just like new!!! We looked at it a little closer and this is what we found:

It had the original manual AND the original box of parts, just like when it was bought. It was a 1941 !!

The manual was so cool....full of old pictures and instructions:

And the parts were all there!:

How cool was that??? We figured that some girl took home-ec and sucked at it and never touched the brand "new" portable sewing machine again. Her loss, our gain!

That's the problem with antique hunting. I don't think it will end up in the shop at all. This one just might be a keeper...

And the total for our day of fun treasure hunting?

A whole $11.00 !!!!

I am going to LIKE buying inventory for the shop at this rate!!! (If I can part with the treasures we find, that is!!)


Isn't how I got into this predicament to begin with?


Kearsie said...

Dude! That is the coolest idea to have an antique shop! I hope you make millions.

Also, I was a little afraid of the ricer until you explained what it was. I don't know why this is...

dreamwalker said...

Wow, sounds like you had a great time. I like those dip thingies best!

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE antique shopping.

And I had a sewing machine exactly like that one. I won it at a church bazaar. I was 2 weeks old. I've never won anything since.

Renee said...

Loved reading this blog, I enjoy antiques also and have had an antiques business too. Then I read a little further and I found we a kindred spirits in many ways. Both retired nurses, Virgos and then it got spooky. A week or so ago I received the call that sisters mother-in-law might have a broken wrist could I please come check it right away. Mother-in-law refusing to go to ER. It was broken.

I will now being following your blog on a regular bases. I really feel we are on the same page in life, both of us using the internet for retirement issues.
I feel I have found a new friend.

Ann said...

Oh my gosh, my daughter would have gone crazy and me too looking through that stuff. There are several people who own shops around here and they go to garage sales early and bang on the door and literally shame people into selling early (laws says not before 8am) and then by the time the garage salers get around all the good stuff is gone unless you can find like you did. Connie has done that several times. She sells her stuff on ebay.

The Retired One said...

Kearsie: Don't worry. I will post plenty more scary antiques for you to worry about in the future. What did you think it was? A vastectomy tool? I am a retired nurse, you know. And...I'm not telling.

Dreamwalker: Me too. Pretty fancy, hey? Now I can't see anyone using them to dip their celery in..because really, who eats celery any more! ha

Mary: Cool! I think I may use it to hem blue jeans. It has a strong needle and it looks like it won't break when you go thru the thickness of the blue jeans. Yes. I. Am. Short.

Renee: Welcome Aboard!! I LOVE ME SOME NEW Followers!! Funny that we have so much in common. What state do you live in? I love new friends and look forward to seeing you comment alot on my blog posts!

Grannyann: Isn't it fun??? I mean, my pulse actually races. I know when we have had some rummage sales, they all know we collected antiques for years, so they are waiting outside in their cars (IN THE DARK!) until we start our sale in the morning. Oh well, at least we know we are not the only two addicted in the world! We have sold a lot on ebay too. Once, we got a Marie Osmond tape of her dolls for 50 cents. I made fun of my husband for buying it at a rummage sale. He put it on Ebay. Unknown to us, it was a collectable to whomever collects her dolls..and it got us $230.00 !!!!! It is such fun!

Carol said...

Oh my gosh, I hope I am not aging myself too much but I still use a potato ricer. It makes for the best mashed potatoes. I think you guys died and went to heaven. I owned one of those suitcases. Or should I say makeup case. Thanks for sharing.

Rinkly Rimes said...

If you go to one f these sales every day you can soon throw one yourself! I've just found your blog and I've enjoyed it. I see you retired in 2008; I retired in 1991 and I haven't had one moment's boredom. So here's to a very exciting time of your life!

Sara said...

Good Luck on your antique shop! I am so happy for you. With your personality and kindness, your store is going to be so neat! I can't wait to hear about it as you get closer to opening it. I loev antiques, they are so fascinating, I always wonder about the people who owned them. I also look for a back story
Have a great day,

Anonymous said...

I had no clue you enjoyed antiques! Or wanted an antique shop!! I did recognize some of those things. I'll have to send you an email about some of the things WE have to "get rid of" when we leave here. For example, an ancient scrap book with OLD valentines, OLD adds from OLD magazines, old seed papers (I mean the little envelopes the seeds came in), old calling cards, etc. I gave an antique steamer trunk to my best friend with old pantaloons and an old homemade quilt in it. She's getting our antique wooden highchair and an old wicker planter. I LOVE this kind of thing and I'm excited that YOU do too! And more excited for you about your shoppe!

Michele said...

I love antiques and seeing older items from the past and it's not really the monetary value that I'm really interested in, I just like to learn about it, where it came from, what it was used for, etc... I just find that so fascinating! But I wouldn't really want to own it, just to look and learn... if that makes any sense.
It seems you have scored some really nice items. Good for you.

The Retired One said...

Carol: You are the first person who knows what is even is! Doesn't it make the best potatoes?

Rinkly: you are new to my blog! Welcome! I tried to stop by your blog, but blogspot keeps knocking me off saying it is an incorrect address. I hope you joined on as one of my Followers...would love to have you regularly read me! Us Retirees need to stick together! ha

Sara: Me, too. I know a lot of what we get has many stories to tell. I collect the antique photographs and they are mesmerizing and haunting. It always reminds me of the Dead Poet's Society when Robin Williams has the boys lean into the old pictures on the school wall and asks them what the boys in the old pictures are saying....Seize the Day!! I will be posting more as I get closer to setting up the shop. And I have pictures of the old house before we started fixing it to show. So many stories, so little time! ha

Cathy: We simply HAVE to get together, don't we? I would love to see some of your goodies.
BTW, what do you mean: "when we leave here?" Where are you going? Are you moving? Say it isn't so!! Spill it girl!

Michele: you are lucky that you don't get the urge to "own" the antiques. That is where I get into trouble. ha

Lesley said...

How fun!! I love to scout around for antiques - you have given me a new idea for post-retirement! Can't wait to see pictures of your shop once it's up and running.

Insanitykim said...

That sewing machine amazing! Great day!

Before kids Josh and I used to go out to lunch and then go to antique stores together, something I look forward to again when the kids are older.

Great post! Thanks for sharing all of that!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I love the sales also..up here you have to get there really early..even the day before sometimes! I have a ricer and I use it occasionally! The salt dips are cool too..I just have never purchased any. I like Marbles, Dice, Depression Glass and odd ball rusty old junk..and doilies, and tablecloths and linens..well that is a heck of a start on my long list! It looks like you had a great the Singer Sewing Machine! Sounds like your shop should be opening this year insteadof next year..I have been in some places that looked like a bunch of chickens previously lived there. Tourists like that kind of experience! :)

Marissa said...

I love the sewing machine (and I don't even sew)! I was oooh-ing and ahhh-ing through the entire post. Neat stuff. How fun to own a store.

BTW - I don't think Garden Frog is going to like wooden peacock bowl...just sayin'.

jessica said...

Well, I also knew it was a potato ricer. Comes in handy when you are making lefse (so many Scandahoovians in MN, yah know?). I have come to know and love lefse.
My first husband's father was into antiques - BIG time - and the big ol' house they lived in, in southeastern MN, was filled with antiques. And clocks - many clocks, and of course they were NOT synchronized and they all struck with different rings, bells, what-have-you. So you were never in doubt as to the quarter-, half- or hour that it was.
Hey - this gives me an idea for a blog posting! Hope I retain that memory for another day or so...

rainfield61 said...

You have the sewing machine for just $3. Coolllll!!!!! My mum used it before and we are still having it.

DKG aka Scrappy Doo said...

You are one lucky girl to have found a treasure such as the peacock hehehehe I must agree with ya on that one!
Love the dog pic!
Cant believe ya got the Singer for 3 bucks!!

The Retired One said...

Lesley: I will make sure and post as I start setting up the shop! (and as I buy more goodies!)

Insanity Kim: Our kids grew up going to auctions,ever since they were babies. I remember buying a box of old hats once, just so they could play "dress up". They still remember it. And they loved the steamed hotdogs they used to sell at them fondly!

Far Side: Yes! I have old linens, old quilts,and a bunch of depression and carnival glass too. I hope to have a nice shop, but I know the kind you speak of. There is one in our area where it is so packed there are just narrow aisles weaving thru. But, they seem to get business!

Marissa: My hope is that Frog (who I have to have the vote on his name yet!) will eat the uglier-than-Poo peacock bowl. When my hubby asks where it went, I will say: Peacock bowl? What Peacock bowl. I just hope when Frog burps, it doesn't smell like he ate it!

Jessica: I haven't had any lefse. I don't know if that is good or bad. We have a few gingerbread clocks, but we have none of them running, because it could get pretty noisy! I will look forward to your post.

Rainfield: It still runs?? That is terrific! This one is heavy duty, so I believe it. If I keep it, I will have biceps like a weightlifter, it is so heavy!

Scrappy: Yeah. I know. I had to indulge my husband. He has surprised me before by picking up things I make fun of, only to have them sell well.
I am lucky...he loves the sales as much as I do.
See the comments above. We are hoping Frog eats it.

Shelley said...

This was a fun post - I felt like I was antiquing w/ you! You got some great finds - that sewing machine was a steal!!!

The Retired One said...

Shellmo: Thanks! it is such fun looking for treasures!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Thanks for stopping by....Will be back to read more later....added you on to my blog list.....

Happy Easter

Rick (Ratty) said...

This looks exciting! I love going and finding little treasures like this. I guessed the sewing machine right away. My sister used to have a much newer version, but the carrying case looked similar.

Lisa said...

I wish you all the best with the antique shop! What a fun adventure! I always think about the history behind antiques I see, I don't have a clue what most are so that's about all I can do anyway. :D

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Uh, oh... I knew what they all were. I guess that makes me old... er... wise. What fun for you. Love the idea of your shop... where are you in the UP?

Loree said...

What fun!! I've been toying with the idea of opening an antique shop at some point in my life. I love to hunt for old treasure and used to go to auctions regularly.
That old sewing machine looks so granny had one but it was a manual one not electric. I'm not sure what happened to it after she died.

Maniacal Mommy said...

Woo hoo! That is incredible!

The Retired One said...

Teresa: Thanks for adding on as a Follower...I love me some more followers. ha

Ratty: So you are the Every Day Adventurer both in the woods and at antiques. Me too!!

Yeah: We still see things that we don't know what they are..that is the fun part! I love thinking of the history behind some of the things we find.

Sharkbytes: We are in a little town about 30 miles from Marquette called Michigamme. We live right in town, but our house is on Lake Michigamme. The shops are all along our tiny Main St., which is pretty neat.

Loree: Do it! God hates a coward. ha We also have an old Singer where you pump it with your is in a real ornate, beautiful cabinet. They really knew how to make things "back in the day" to look beautiful and versatile.

Manical: I love it! You will hear my adventure as it unfolds here in my blog!

Lesley said...

This has nothing to do with your post, but I just wrote a comment on another blog and the 'verification' word was: gosyria. I immediately thought of you! Is it a political message? A travel suggestion? I'm not sure.

Pearl said...

Oh, fun! I absolutely love garage sales/thrift stores, anything of the sort.
Thanks for the preview of the coming season, O Retired One! Feels like I've hit my first good sale already and it didn't cost me a dime (although I totally would've bought the ricer and the salt dips and that piece of red glass...


The Retired One said...

Lesley: How funny! Now you will never look at the code words the same again, will you?

Pearl: I know. Sometimes the fun is to go to 2 or 3 bummer sales and then hitting the jackpot at the next one. Oh..addictions!! said...

Yep, that's probably how you got in your "predicament" in the first place, that is if you want to call it a "predicament." I on the other hand would call it a steal~

I cannot believe you found a Singer in such good condition. I do not know much about antiques, but I know that's a real treasure to find.

What a fun post. I really enjoyed reading it.

Have a great day my friend.


P.S. Oh, and I loved your answer to Tuesday's Question. I cannot wait to post it. You are one of the only ones who understood the question. Everyone else thought I was asking what they wished to be when they grew up. (Laughing)

And, by the way, I thought the trees on the movie made wind too. And sometimes I'm a little afraid to pass to close to a tree, especially apple trees. (Smile) Did I tell you that I'm also a blonde?

Also, I wanted to let you know that I will be posting your answers tomorrow out of respect for a friends loss. Do you know Dawn at Twisted Sister? Well, she lost her beloved cat named Miiko, so I wrote a short post for her.

I just wanted you to know I didn't forget about posting your answers, and I appreciate your participation.

Golly, have you ever read such a long P.S.?

The Retired One said...

Annie: I was wondering when I read everybody else's post...but I had to tell somebody about me thinking that trees made wind when I was little! ha It brought back a fun memory for me. I love apple trees now, and after seeing the mean ones on Wizard of Oz, you wouldn't think so! I will read your post!
Oh, I don't know Dawn, but I will have to visit her blog. I feel for her...we had two dear, dear cats for years and they both died, within 6 months of each other. I can't bear to get any more pets just broke my heart.

Sharkbytes said...

OH! I will be very near there on one of the pieces of the NCT that I need to finish. I have a little bit just west of Marquette, and quite a bit east of there too.

Unknown said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!


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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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