Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our First and Last Garage Sale in Princeton

I realize I have been missing for the last couple days.  I have been working.  Yes, working at my own garage sale.  I have never enjoyed having garage sales.  My mother used to have gigantic ones.  She would merchandise by putting tables with lamps and knick knacks on them.  She would set up dining tables with place settings.  She would stay up into the wee hours refinishing furniture to sell.  My dad would rewire lamps.  All I can say is UGG!  That's not for me.  I don't mind the actual sales days, but preparing is a ton of work.  It's hard to decided what to sell and then decide what to charge.  If you ask too much, then it doesn't sell.  If you sell it right away, then you think you could have gotten more.  It's a guessing game. Then there is the problem of putting up signs.  My husband made fantastic sandwich board signs with our address painted in big letters, but we weren't sure where to put them.  We didn't know if it was legal to put them in certain places.  The police never came so I guess we chose wisely.  Here is our sale just before we opened up.

7:00 AM, first day of the garage sale.

Even though the preparation was awful, the sale was fun.  The weather was perfect with nice temperatures, a light breeze and no rain.  As you know, we live kind of hidden away in the woods.  Therefore, the number of people who found us was down quite a bit.  Almost everyone who came bought something, and we sold the big stuff we wanted to sell.  We sold our built in oven and cook top that we took out during our kitchen remodel.  That was a big relief.   Our daughter Heather came over this morning with our grandson Dylan.  He had some of his stuff in the sale and his mother told him if he wanted the money, he had to work for it.  He had to make change without the benefit of a cash register.  He did a great job.  Some of the clerks we encounter in stores couldn't make change without the machine.  Some of them have trouble with a cash register.

One of the highlights of the sale was when a man showed up and told us that he had built our house 35 years ago.  He told us things we didn't know about the house.  He told us that he had happy times in the house but after he sold it, his wife got breast cancer at age 37 and struggled for thirteen years before she died.  He told us that the pond we have has a name on the county plat.  It is called Lake Lourrina, named after his wife.  I will have to go to the courthouse to see exactly how to spell it.  He brought a photo taken from the deck back then and gave it to us.  Things haven't changed that much, just that the trees have gotten larger.  Now I can say we have lake property instead of swamp property.

Photo taken with a 35mm camera over 30 years ago.

Photo taken today, July 13, 2013.

All in all, I am glad we had the sale.  I am glad we got rid of several things that we didn't need, but I doubt if I will ever do it again in my life. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

More Than A Storage Chest, It's a Family Heirloom

We have been going through our garages looking for things to put in our garage sale.  We found some scraps of wood and pieces from some projects that haven't been finished.  In fact, we moved them to Princeton, stashed them in the workshop and forgot about them.  Finding some of these things, reminded me of another woodworking project that did get finished.  Many years ago, when my youngest daughter started college, she asked her dad to make her a chest to store all of her important belongings.  He really hadn't made anything like that before, but thought that he could give it a try.  He looked through magazines and finally designed a simple chest.  She loved it and over the years has moved it to wherever she lived.  This last weekend she moved it into her son's room.  It still looks great, in fact the patina of the wood is getting even better.  I have blogged about many things that my talented husband has made, and this is another treasure.

Storage chest made by Mike almost 20 years ago.
Front view of cabinet

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Freezing Browned Ground Beef or Meatballs

It is recipe Tuesday, but I haven't been cooking a lot lately and so I have no new recipes to share.  I do have a small helpful tip.  Whenever we see a good buy on ground beef, we buy a big family pack.  When we get home or the next day, we fry out the whole package with some onion.  After it has drained and is cooled, we package the fried hamburger in containers.  Then when we need a meal in a hurry, we can make barbeque or anything that requires browned hamburger.  How many times have you wanted to make a hamburger dish but all you have is a frozen chunk of ground beef.  I even make vegetable beef soup with browned ground beef.  Sometimes instead of frying it all,  we make a batch of meatballs or meat loaves.  Everyone has their favorite meatball or meat loaf recipe, so I won't include that.  I make the meatballs and put them on a baking sheet.  I use a broiler pan with the insert.  I put them into the oven at 350 degrees and bake them for about 20 minutes.  The fat from the hamburger drains into the bottom pan.  When they have cooled on a rack, I put them into a ziplock bag and freeze.  When you need a meal, you can take out as many as you need.  There is no need to thaw,  just put into a pan or microwave.  Sometimes I put Cream of Chicken soup on them or spaghetti sauce.

Sorry, but that's all I have for today.  It's blueberry season so I did make a bowl of blueberries and fresh peaches.  Hopefully I will have something better next Tuesday.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Operation Migration Class of 2013

The other day we were traveling home from Berlin, WI on the back roads.  We noticed that Operation Migration was beginning to set up their base camp for the class of 2013.  I wrote a blog about last years cranes Operation Migration.  This year they have eight young ones that they are going to raise in the White River Marsh.  Last week I thought I saw a big white bird fly over our marsh.  I don't think it was a whooping crane, but it could have been from this report I got today.   Apparently two of the people out setting up the pens for the young ones went into our town for lunch.  When they returned they noticed two big white birds.  They stopped immediately and took photos.  It turned out that they were two of the birds who were raised there last year.  They had migrated back from Florida and found their way back to this area.  Here is the journal entry describing what the men saw.  If anyone wants to follow Operation Migration and like their facebook page, it is fascinating. 

I think this is an Egret, I don't see any black tips on the wings.
I'm looking forward to seeing the progress of the new Whooping Crane Class of 2013, and maybe the one year olds will show up at my house some time this summer.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Flowers in our Yard

I don't have time or energy to write much today.  Getting ready for a garage sale in this heat and humidity is NOT fun.  We need more room with all the stuff we have to sell.  Today I am just posting some of the flowers that are blooming in the yard.

Michigan Lily
Yellow Lily
Stella d'oro


Icelandic Poppy