Monday, May 26, 2014

Always a Surprise

CRAFT BITS & PIECES is a resale shop in my neighborhood. They sell the leftovers from craft projects or attic "cleanouts", stash "cleanouts", estate "cleanups", etc. The funds raised from the sale of these items generate income for the my town's senior living council.
Senior Options for Independence (SOFI) Care Management and Elderbus Transportation programs.

I try to visit CRAFTS BITS & PIECES at least one time a week. This little shop is entirely run by volunteers and is open for business from Wednesday to Saturday each week. Very convenient hours too: 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 10 to 4 on Saturdays. I like to visit on Wednesdays, if I can, because that's when they have been closed for several days and have been restocking the store.

You actually never know what kinds of surprises you'll find there. Here are a couple very surprising items I found on my most recent visit.


The long white apron, I call my Downton Abbey apron. It is completely hand sewn. The lace is wonderful. I could not resist having this. My dress form is wearing it and I love it on her. The small panels with little dolls on them, I just brought home with me because I was hoping I could think of something to do with them. I have a couple ideas. One is to stuff them and make them into little "softie" dolls. The other is to frame them in a hoop - for a child's room. Do you have any suggestions?

CB&P always has all kinds of yarn (very reasonable priced), all colors of crochet thread, knitting needles and crochet hooks (extremely reasonable). Most of the yarn is less than a dollar a skein. I have made entire prayer shawls for approximately $3. They always have rubber stamps and other paper crafting items, laces and fabric trims, zippers, elastic, thread, ribbon, patterns, fabric yardage, Christmas decorations, jewelry, pattern books, florals, even greeting cards. And that's not all folks. It's just a treasure trove experience.

This shop helps me keep some semblance of control over my stash, too, because when I'm finished with a project and certain I won't use the materials again, I drop them off at the "donation station" which is just a few doors away.

Whenever I visit CRAFTS BITS & PIECES, it's always like a child going to the circus - great anticipation, excitement and breathlessness. I feel like an explorer or an archeologist on a hunt for hidden treasure.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Louie Memory

I've just been reading the blog posts that were submitted on the castteam's (Christian Artists Street Team on etsy) weekly BLOG~BLITZ. My teammate, Carla TePaske blogged about:

And that reminded me of a "Louie memory". My beloved husband is now with Jesus but my memory is overflowing with stories about life with Louie that would fill many hysterically funny books. Carla's blog post this week reminded me of this one.

One day, after I had been out of the house for a while, upon returning home, I encountered something that had never happened before in all my long years of marriage to Lou. It was the first thing I noticed when I walked into the house. There were clothes hanging on the line in the backyard. He had done laundry !!! I was totally amazed.

I walked around the house, looking for him and found him by his favorite haunt - the computer. I said "you did laundry". He said, "don't ask". I couldn't wait to hear the story. This had to be good.

He went to Wegman's (the local supermarket) to do some shopping. We happen to live very close to one of the oldest, most outdated Wegman's on earth - it boasts ONLY one bathroom - and that one was an "employees only" bathroom until the law dictated all public places of commerce must provide washroom facilities for the public. Now this lone bathroom is both a public and an employee facility. It is still a single unit. No separate men's and women's facilities. ONE.

Here's Louie's story. He's innocently shopping around the store. A woman rushes past him and runs to the service desk (which he is close to) and asks for the loo. She is advised where it is. She speeds past him again but this time, sadly, leaking all the way. Lou tries to make a quick exit away from this event which he is caught in the middle of but not before he slips on the now slick floor, looses his balance and falls in the messy puddles that now dot the floor between the service desk and the washroom.

In their haste to get the buckets, mops and yellow "wet floor" cones out, I don't  think that the store management even offered him free groceries for his trouble but he dashed home and did the first one and only load of laundry he ever did in his life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Signs of Spring

It takes Spring a loooooong time to finally reach the shores of Lake Ontario that border the metroplex where I live. I think I see it peeking around the corner right now, playing "peek-a-boo" with me. Hooray !! I do see some little signs that it will be making it's grand entrance very soon.

The pointy little green spikes of hosta are pushing their way up through the now defrosting soil. Same for the lily of the valley and peony bushes. But some very brave little plants are taking their chances of getting their noses nipped by Jack Frost.

The chives are really the very first sign that Spring is on it's way. This little potful has been grinding away pushing chive stems up from the dirt for about a month now.

 Another one of the first harbingers of Spring. The forsythia bush. I like them totally unkempt. Just growing every which way, like they like to do. This one lives beside my garage. You can see the trees in the background have yet to leaf out.

This magnolia tree is in my neighbor's yard. I don't have one. These magnolias are different than the ones in the southland. These just bloom once. In the early spring. When the flowers wilt and fall on the ground, you'd think it snowed again. Once the flowers are gone, the magnolia leafs out and has those shiny, leathery leaves like the southern magnolias have, only much smaller.

This quince bush is in my yard. In bud stage now. The flowers are exquisite. A bright persimmon color. When the flowers fade, the fruit follows. I do have a recipe to make quince jelly, but I never have. Maybe this will be the year. The squirrels like to nosh on the quince fruit that falls on the ground.

I just had to share this picture with ya'll. Cinco de Mayo. This is when we western New Yorkers know that Spring is about to break out. Our local favorite supermarket celebrates by serving this at lunchtime. Two shredded pork filled tortillas with a side of rice and black bean salad. Delicioso !!