Sunday, August 30, 2015

Working all the time

Once again, I'm catching up. Last time I posted, we were about to leave on a mini vacation. I didn't go garage saleing on August 15th, as I figured I'd buy enough stuff on vacation, I did spend a nice bit of money, but not for anything really interesting.
So, on August 15th, I chose to stay at home and read some of my books, that afternoon I worked and that night my brother got to Ames with his girlfriend and we chatted a bit.
On August 16th, we got up and started the drive up to Okoboji, IA. My mom had printed out directions from MapQuest, which I thought was kinda funny. We've been going there for years, since I was a really small person, and we've traveled the same route every time. This time we took a different road but it was two highways all the way up there, and mostly it was just highway, we went through a few towns at the end, but is was basically driving straight. We stopped at a gas station/eatery about 11/12 oclock for lunch. I had macaroni and cheese and bread pudding, it was ok for gas station food. We got to Okoboji about 1sh, my brother came in shortly after we did. My first stop was to go next door to the Sugar Shack, which is just jars of candy you can buy in bulk. I got myself a bag of chocolate covered stuff that lasted the few days we were there. I had also decided I needed to pick up a shirt because the few I got last time became too small and I got rid of them. I was going to buy two shirts, but I found a cute bag and got that instead.
The other t-shirt I was considering had a starfish embroidered on it. I'm not sure why they had these things because I've never seen a starfish in the lake and it rains everywhere, but they were cute. I really wanted more of a screenprinted shirt, but those were pretty expensive. The store I bought these at, everything was half price, it was pretty hard to beat that.
I've found the purse is working very well for me too, I just bought it because it was really cute, but I've wanted a smaller purse that doesn't hold much so I can't stuff everything in it.
My next stop was a place that has a lot of jewelry, but I love picking up what they call Treasure Boxes, their just grab bags in a box. I can't help myself around grab bags.
Inside were some pendant necklaces, flower pins, hat barrettes and a strange die ring.
 I didn't want to go back to the condo and sit, so I kept walking down to the amusement park and the shops there. I didn't find anything to buy at these shops, but I did find quite a few old cars to look at.
This one looks like the Impala from Supernatural except that it's blue and two doors.
 The rest of the day was very boring, it rained and no one wanted to go out in the rain and get food, so I had a bagel for supper. My mom was very strange with the rain. There was a lot of rain the two days we were there and she kept whining about it. At times it wasn't that much, so I didn't understand why she couldn't just put on her coat and go out in it.
The next day we went to a local place the Koffee Kup and had breakfast. We decided to go shopping for the day as it was overcast and raining. Our first stop was The Barn Swallow, we go every year, it's a big house with over 3 floors of gifts, clothes and almost every thing you could think of.
 I thought these S&P shakers were just funny:
 Also thought this sign was cute:
 Afterwards we headed north to get lunch. I don't know if it was because it was Monday or because there were a lot of chain fast food places around but not much local was open. We ended up waiting in a place called the Family Diner for awhile, I went out to look for another place and when I got back my parents found a table. It was good, I had a cheeseburger, but nothing extraordinary that I couldn't get in Ames.
There was more shopping after lunch, we visited 3 or 4 consignment stores. I didn't buy much, but I saw a lot of interesting stuff.
My friend got a really cool bag made of ribbons and fibers and vintage trim at a Goodwill awhile back, so I've been on the lookout for interesting purses, this one was cool:
Very elegant, but also about $40.
We stopped at a smelly antique store where I picked up a few things. The frog was for me, the iris angel and Santa for my mother.
 My mother couldn't stand the smell inside so she went next door to the fabric store. I don't find fabric stores very interesting. I like looking at fabric, but if that's all I have to look at, I get bored.
The last place we went to, seemed like a very upscale consignment store. It was fun to look at, but there was nothing I could afford in it, not even the jewelry pieces they had.
This piece was from a post office, wouldn't it be cool to have in a craft room just to fill up with supplies?
 I thought the 'face' chair was creepy and weird.
 This purse was decorated with shell and coconut pieces, here's the front:
 and the back
 An old phonograph
 a cool clock
 a neat cabinet. The glass on the top is bottle ends
 a pillow covered in MOP buttons, this was about $10, still out of my price range.
 Supper was from a place called Smokin' Jakes, they had very good barbecue, but still nothing I couldn't get at home.
Tuesday, we basically got up and drove home. That was an experience in itself, it rained the whole 3 hour drive. There were a couple times it was raining soo hard I was hoping we'd pull over and wait, I couldn't see anything. For some reason my mom decided she just needed to get home. We got to the outskirts of town and my dad suggested we pick up lunch, but she seemed very annoyed and said she didn't want to get out in the rain and she just wanted to get home. We didn't really need to hurry, our original plan was to stay until lunch time and then leave, we got home about the time we were going to leave. It was weird.
And I've been working at the bookstore and the library ever since we got back. Last Sat, 8/22 I decided to give my feet a little break and did not go garage saleing. This week I was going to, but when I woke up Friday morning, it was raining again.
I did stop at a church sale on my way home from work and picked up a few things.
I just thought the Asian piece was neat, I love those little pincushion creatures, the bear is for my mom it's an Iowa bear with an Iowa quarter she collects bears, I thought the C notebook would work for a swap and the frog is for me.
Yesterday I worked all day and today's my day off. I was planning on wandering down south to Target and Walmart because I need a dressish shirt for a job interview on Thursday, but we're having flooding after our 9+ inches of rain on Friday, and I saw pictures of the Walmart parking lot being flooded, Target's a little higher, but I decided it would suck to get there and see it was flooded.
I wish we could send some of this water to California, they sure need it.
I guess I check out some closer places Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. I don't really have much planned today. I do have to drop something off at the library, but I'll probably just end up reading some of my giant stack of library books.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fun night

Last night, I went to an event called Foodies & Brew where local businesses paired food with beer. I saw a post about it on Facebook last weekend and said it would be fun, my brother replied he'd be missing it by a day, I replied back saying he could buy me a ticket and I could tell him what he missed. The next day there's an email from him saying he bought me two tickets, I was really just kidding, but if he's gonna buy me tickets, I won't say no.
He paid a little less by buying them early and I did get a commemorative glass as part of that deal. I think part of the glass was to put your beer in as I saw a lot of people doing that, but I don't drink beer. I wasn't interested in it for the beer, I wanted to try the food.
So, one of my friends at the library joined me (that turned out to be harder than you think it would) and we stopped by after work. 
Thankfully, there was water there, so I picked up a glass and had that to drink. The first stop was The Cafe:
 They had a chocolate oatmeal stout ice cream cone. It was pretty good until I got to the chocolate at the bottom of the cone, that was where the stout was. I don't like beer, so it wasn't a great ending.
Next stop was Chef Kevin Terrell + Those Guys(I can't find a link to these guys, there's a facebook page and a linkedin page for Kevin Terrell, if you want to look him up):
 This is a braised pork cheek. I decided it was the best, it was so moist, it basically melted in my mouth. There's a slice of mushroom on the top and it's sitting in corn with a carrot and radish. I voted this one as my favorite.
Next was Dublin Bay:
 They had cottage pie on a piece of soda bread with Brussels sprouts. This is actually my friend's, I forgot to take the picture until I was halfway through eating it, and those are her Brussels sprouts along with mine, I'm not a fan of those. We stopped to share a table with a couple and I asked my friend if she wanted my Brussels sprouts and the girl (she looked like she was in her early 20's), told me I should try them, that they were really good. I felt like my mother was trying to tell me to try them. I've had Brussels sprouts made quite a few ways, and I just don't like them. It was a little annoying having someone I didn't know tell me to try something I know I don't like.
I loved the rest of it though, the bread was so good, and the pie was great, too.
Next up was Aunt Maude's:
 They had a BLT, but the B was not bacon, it was some kind of braised meat, which I know you can't see, but it was really good. Sadly, I kept having my tomato slide out the other side, and I lost most of the lettuce. I was going to eat my lettuce after finishing the sandwich, but I believe it had vinegar all over it, it was not very good to eat plain.
Next up is Olde Main Brewing Co:
 These are a steak and mushroom kebob in a barbeque sauce and a pork and pineapple kebob. Again, I forgot to take a picture of mine until I was halfway through, so this is my friend's. I thought the steak was rather hard to chew, especially with as big as the chunks were, I didn't eat both of the steak chunks. The pork was the best.
Last is Whiskey River:
They had three kinds of egg rolls, a spicy one, a barbeque with cheese and a reuben. When we got up there, the reuben was all gone (I was ok with that, I don't like Reuben), I'm not a spicy fan, so I didn't try that one. I went for the barbecue, which was good, but I didn't get the dipping sauce, so it was a bit dry. I didn't finish that either.
There was one other food vendor there, Wallaby's, they had a Creole jambalaya, I don't like spicy things, so I didn't try that.
I think it was a fun evening, it was nice to try the food, but if I was spending my money, I wouldn't pay for it. I kinda felt like when we went to this 4-course dinner at a fancy restaurant in Charleston, it was good, but I'm not sure it was really worth the money. I'm sure if I had the beer, it would have been, there were 19 beers you could have sampled, and I'm sure that would have cost more than $30 normally.
I also didn't really like the set-up. It was one block closed off with food vendor tents on the side, a few tall tables for eating, a bunch of folding chairs set out, and one long table with folding chairs around it. There were quite a few people, so it was a little crowded. I decided I would have liked it better if it was in an events center, you could pick up all your food first and then sit down and savor the food at a table.
But, like I said, a good experience anyway.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Driving away Hodgepodge

Hodgepodge is back! Head on over the Joyce's blog to see what other people have to say.

1. When was the last time you relocated? Did you move yourself or leave it to the professionals? Are you happy staying put or is there a move in your future? Best thing about moving to a new city or town? Least favorite and/or hardest thing about moving house? I haven't moved in years, the last time I did it was just across the street but it was up two flights of stairs and a few things up a fire escape and through a window. I would love to stay here forever, but soon my landlords are going to want to use this space and I'll have to move out, I think it will be next year.
My parents moved from this house to a smaller condo, they had to live in a two-bedroom apartment between moving out of here and moving into their condo. I helped with that. Since they had an interim apartment, they had a big semi-truck pack up about half their stuff and keep it in storage and move the rest to their apartment. They're still sorting and unpacking boxes now, which is about a year after they moved out of here.

2. When were you last 'moved to tears'? Explain. I actually just read a book called Newtown about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting the other day, I cried while reading that.

3. Do you have rules about eating in the car...any forbidden foods? What's the last thing you consumed in your car? Your go-to car snack when traveling long distance? I don't have a car, but the one I spend most of the time in, would be my mother's and we generally eat stuff in the car, nothing too messy. Honestly, I don't know what the last time was I ate in her car, but it was most likely picking up fast food and eating french fries on the way home.
When I was a kid, our traveling food was always Twizzlers. I remember we always got a big bag of those before going on long car trips. A few years ago, I bought some for a trip, they weren't as good as I remember, I'm actually not that much of a fan of them anymore.

4. Share a favorite song relating to cars and/or driving. I like Two Lanes of Freedom by Tim McGraw
My favorite lyrics are:
Bottle of wine and a cheap motel, door 12 feet from the road
Watch the sunset holding hands and talk about where we're gonna go
So where you wanna go? (Where you wanna go?)

5. What's your most frequently visited drive-thru...Starbucks? the bank? the pharmacy? some other window? Like I said, no car. But, most likely a fast food place.

6. "He who hesitates is lost"...would you agree? When it comes to making decisions do you generally act quickly or do you more often than not fall into the 'lost' category? I think it depends on what the decision is about, you can still get something good even if you hesitate. I know I don't always make decisions quickly and sometimes I lose out on what I want, but sometimes I don't.

7. When was the last time you got lost? Was it stressful or an unexpected happy adventure? Because I walk to all the garage sales I go to, sometimes I end up on a street I didn't know was there. I did get lost earlier this summer when I happened upon a street I thought was something else, but I knew if I kept going south I'd figure out where I was, and it worked out fine. If I had to be somewhere at a certain time, I might have freaked out a little more.
The last time I got lost in a car, I was with my ex and I remember us being on a gravel road but we weren't exactly sure where we were, again we didn't have anywhere to be, so we just kept going until we found something familiar.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. I'm going on a mini vacation soon. We have a time-share up at Lake Okoboji for a week at the end of August. This year I get to go up there for a few days. I'm really looking forward to it. It was always the last place we went (when I was a kid) before school started, so even as I get older, it still holds that. It's always away enough but familiar that it feels like home. Obviously things have changed in the 20+ years we've been going, but enough has stayed the same that it still feels like childhood.
I miss this:


Saturday, August 08, 2015

A giant marble

Garage sales were kind of a bust this weekend. There were only two yesterday, but they were on different sides of town, so I didn't go out.
Today, the forecast was rain, and it was raining when I went out, but not so much that all of the ground was wet at any time. I decided to try anyway. It really frustrated me that people didn't go out and check to see how much it was raining. Also, we've had rain in the forecast for today since Wednesday, a few of these sales were posted after Wednesday, so why didn't they just put the stuff out that could handle a little rain and get protection, or put in the garage that couldn't handle rain? I wasn't the only one out, but there weren't a lot of people.
One sale I stumbled on was everything 50 cents unless otherwise marked, that's my kind of sale. Sadly, I only found one thing I really wanted, it was mostly baby clothes.
I bought some rice krispie treats and lemonade at one sale. I always try to buy treats when their offered. When I first started out and kept finding the addresses but no sales I was thinking about going to our farmer's market, but all I ever buy there is sweets and then their gone withing a couple days, so I thought I'd save my money.

So, I found a couple books, a giant marble and a nice quilted table piece.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Some of my favorite books

The other day I realized I had gained 5 pounds since the beginning of summer. I was trying to figure out what was different between this summer and last summer and realized it was ice cream.
I usually just buy a few boxes of sundae cones throughout the summer, this year, I started buying cartons of it, and I've gone through quite a few since summer started. I decided it was a necessity of summer, and all the different flavors is came in, how could you go wrong. I don't know how many cartons I've bought and gone through, but I've had quite a few cartons of Fasco/Blue Bunny, two cartons of Breyer's, at least 6 containers of Edy's, and at least 6 of Ben & Jerry's pints. I was also trying to figure out how I'd spent so much this summer too, but ice cream adds up. I never buy it unless it's on sale, but it's varied from $2 to $4 depending on what I was buying. Today, I just bought a pack of sundae cones for $2.50, I'm sure it will last me awhile.

As most of you who've followed my blog for awhile know, I work at a library and that gives me a lot of books to look at.
I've been reading how people are recording the books the read. I've always done that, but I keep wondering if I share on here will people be interested, or think my choices of books are weird? I've started recording all the books I read in 2013, and have done it since then. I find it such an accomplishment when I finish a book.
I'm in the middle of two long and deep reads right now. One of them is Gotham: A History of New York to 1898, this book is about 1300 pages long and it's not a small book, height and width wise, so it's a lot of words in a lot of space, plus the chapters are exceptionally long.
The second one is KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps, it's about 600 pages, but it's deep and painful to read. It's one of those books that I really want to finish, but it's not an easy read.
I'm also in the middle of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I read her second happiness book, Happier at Home in July. I've tried to read the Happiness Project before but I couldn't get into it. Happier at Home was very easy to get into, and I thought I'd give The Happiness Project again. I'm well past half of the book, but I'm still having a hard time getting into it.
Most of the time I try to avoid books that are really popular, but I've had so many people recommend it, and I keep hearing about it on some of the blogs I've read, and since I liked the other one, I thought I'd try again.

I have a Staff Picks shelf at the library, which is basically certain staff members put their favorites on on a shelf for the patrons to see what they're interested in. This is the blurb I wrote to put on my shelf so patrons would know what I like to read: I love non-fiction, I choose books the grab my attention on the first page and won't allow me to put the book down until I'm done with it. On my pics you will find an eclectic selection of non-fiction from true crime to war history to biographies to traveling and living in Iowa. I like learning about things. 
Usually my reading choices are true crime, or history, or books about books, or anything about growing up in Iowa. My choices are very wide. I also love reading kids picture books, I'm not sure I have particular favorites in that area, I do really love Mo Willems books about Piggy and Elephant, you can't go wrong with those.
I have a part-time job and should really be focusing on finding a full-time job or another part-time job to fill in my extra hours. Since, I have a lot of free time, I read a lot, in 2013 I read 57 reading books. My definition of Reading Books being ones that have a lot of depth to them, I record all the picture books and books with less depth to them as well, so the real total of books read in 2013 would be 108 books. My favorites from that year would be Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell, a lot of the stories she has relate to libraries, not all of them of course because mostly people don't buy books at the library, we do have a small used bookstore. While looking up this book on Amazon for a link, I found she wrote another one, and just requested that through our website, I'm sure it's as funny as the first one.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, this is about a woman named Henrietta Lacks who had cancer and her doctor took some of her cells and basically have been recreating them for years to replicate other diseases and find out how to cure/treat them. Lots of treatments for diseases exist because of her cells, unfortunately, she never gave permission for them to take her cells and her family has been trying to get recognition for them for years.
This next one, is one of those I'm hesitant to share with the world, Columbine by Dave Cullen. I can imagine you can guess what that's about, though as the years pass, I'm saddened by the people I run into that don't know about it. Dave basically shows what leads up to the shooting, and the aftermath of it. He studies the writings, tapes and police files about the boys.
The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin, in 1888 there was a very sudden blizzard that came upon the midwest in the middle of the day. It's called the Children's Blizzard because a lot of kids got stuck in it on their way home from school and perished. Very interesting read.
Free For All by Don Borchert, Don worked in a library and has some very interesting stories about what happens in a library. After reading this book I told my co-workers what a great book it was and so many people requested it that they bought two more copies.
Edward Gein: America's Most Bizarre Murderer by Robert H Gollmer, this would be another one I'm hesitant to reveal. I find books about serial killers very interesting. Edward Gein was very strange, Silence of the Lambs is partially based on him, he would skin his victims and make things with their skin, he also liked to use their bones for things as well.
Blooming by Susan Allen Toth, Susan grew up in Ames, IA where I live and details some of her exploits growing up. I especially like the part on the library.
The Year without Summer by William K Klingman. In 1816, a volcano erupted spewing volcanic ash into the atmosphere so far up that it changed the climate of the Earth.

Well, that was a lot of favorite books for one year, I think I'll do another post on 2014 and 2015. I don't know if my readers are interested in what I read, but it's fun to remember my favorites and why I liked them.

Monday, August 03, 2015


My mother is such a piece of work sometimes. Last Thursday, we went out to lunch and she mentioned that she needed to clean out boxes in their spare bedroom so they could have a bed in there when my brother visited in a few weeks. I volunteered to help her on Sat.
Friday at work we had an overabundance of leftover food from something, so I took a few pastries for my parents. Saturday, I give them the pastries and proceed to help my mother clear out boxes. She suggests we go to Red Lobster for dinner.
A few weeks ago, my dad asked me to post a few things on Craigslist for them, they sent me the pictures Sunday. So, I posted them Sunday night, one of them being a microwave mom had said to list as free for the taking. I changed it to $20, and a guy emailed me saying he'd give $10. Later tonight I get a text from my mom saying they got rid of the microwave and the guy paid $15 for it and that I earned my Red Lobster dinner. I replied back that I should just get the $15 since they were going to give it away for free. She replied back asking how much my dinner was with the drink and that it was probably more than $15 and that I shouldn't get anything.
I'm pretty sure my dad will give me a little something because we agreed on that earlier and he knows my mother's habits about "giving" me things. A few years ago we were at a scrapbooking store and she had filled up a card of X dollars that gave you $10 off your next purchase. She knew she wouldn't use it before it expired so she gave it to me, saying I had to pay her $5 for it. That's my mother in a nutshell.
I guess I shouldn't volunteer to help her out in the future.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Catching Up....Again

I realized the other day I hadn't posted my finds from last weekend (July 25th), but since it was already Thursday at that point, I figured I'd just do one long post after this weekend's garage sales. So, here you go:
I took a lot of pictures of cute little houses on my walk on July 25th.
 I just like the size of this house, someday I plan to have a house this size or maybe a little smaller.

I love how the front of this house looks.

This was just a really weird tree in someone's yard. It almost looks like a climbing tree for cats.
 The first sale I basically only went to because I wanted to hit all the sales on my list, it was way out of the way of the other sales, but I also needed to get some more walking in, it gave me another mile to add to my total, so it worked.
The second one I found a few items to buy:
 I initially picked up the doughboy bank for my aunt, but I'm pretty sure she already has this one, and with the amount of doughboy items she has, I don't think she really has room for duplicates. The Superman is for my co-worker, she's trying to collect superheroes for a project. And I just thought the chick was cute.
 I saw this at the third sale on my list, it was only 50 cents, but I really didn't need it.
 I probably didn't need this movie either, but I like it and there's always a list on it at the library when Halloween comes around.
The next sale wasn't on my list, but I was walking right past it and it said artwork.
 I just picked up these two items, I really like the smiley face guy.
The next sale wasn't on my list, but I try to go to everything I see signs for.
 I found this He-Man puzzle that I almost bought as a gag for my brother, but there weren't any prices and I didn't really feel like going and asking.
This next sale had a ton of Beanie Babies, but I'm trying not to acquire more stuffed animals.
 It obviously didn't work, as I did pick up Jiminy Cricket, but I felt I couldn't pass him by, I thought the bag was just cute.
This fence is very cool, it looks like it's twisted and every time I walk by it, I always wonder how they constructed it.
 It goes with the chimney on the house, if you can see it. It's not the best picture and for some reason I didn't have my camera that day.

 By the time I made it to my second to last sale I was ready to jump in their neighbors ponds.

This is an old church that as one time was condemned, but I think someone bought it and fixed it up.

I picked up these free books at the last sale.

This week, I ventured out to a few on Friday. I used to do that and plan to get back into doing it, but I've been lazy the past few weeks and haven't gone out on Fridays. I didn't walk that much, but I was so tired that afternoon at work, I felt like I was really dragging.
 I found some great jewelry at one sale.

I also picked up a bag of buttons, it was priced at $3, I'm not sure what I decided to keep out of the bag was actually worth the $3, but there were some very neat ones in it. Mostly they were new though. I also picked up a bag of angels at that sale.

Saturday, I had a whole list of sales, and found quite a few things.
 A whole bag of yarn and some vintage looking trim for art projects.

a box of ceramic butterfly coasters, a turtle hot pad, a glass elephant and some cute pins.
This sale was not on my list, but like I said, I try to stop by if the addresses are in my area. I didn't find anything for me, but my friend has been wanting one of these picnic basket things for awhile.
 So, I bought it for her.

Another sale not on my list:
 But, I did get Spiderman for my co-worker and Hello Kitty for another co-worker and lemonade and cookies for me, so it worked out.

These were all found in the free bin at the last sale, cause I can't have enough stickers.

I was thinking how much I love walking to sales. I know some people couldn't do it with how their towns are set up, but I love that I can do it. I try to go different routes so I can see new things, I try to push my limits as far as I can. Sometimes that doesn't always work, generally I have to work on Saturdays, so I have to make sure I leave by 8AM and get back by 11 (hopefully earlier).
I used to just go to sales that had things in their descriptions that sounded interesting to me, but this year, I thought I'd just try to get to all the ones in my area. Sometimes I strike out, like the baby sale I went to this week thinking there might be some minion toys and found out it was all clothes. But I also might find something totally cool that they didn't put in the ad, or is in the free box.

Find anything cool at sales this weekend?