Happy Halloween! My kids have been: A cowboy A frog An elephant A clown Two cheerleaders Anakin Skywalker Daniel Boone Men in Black Hula girl Fisherman Jengo Fett and this year? Mario and his Gangster Friend
Today, I'm heading up to Charteuse and Co. to meet Molly to get our space ready for this weekend's sale.
And while Molly's holding down the fort this month, I'm leaving in the morning for this beach in Maine. I'm going to my friend's family cottage on the ocean for our annual girls weekend. Wine. Peeps. Beach.
More tomorrow (day two). I am not kidding when I tell you we ran out of parking spots! I was directing traffic out on the road, which brought back memories of my time spent working here when I was in college.
The Barn Show opens tomorrow morning for our fifth annual fall sale!
The barn is loaded with antiques, architectural salvage pieces, awesome chalkboards, accessories, jewelry and vintage finds. Everything is in its place and we are ready to slide open the barn doors and show everyone what we've been up to!
A few sneak peeks:
Doesn't the apothecary chest I told you about a couple of posts ago look absolutely fabulous in the barn?! I have a feeling my heart is going to be broken over this one!
I hope to see you at the barn! (Located in Gambrills, Maryland)
Okay, so it's three days until the Fall Barn Show and I'm feeling a little stressed! Not so much about the show, because the other barn girls and I have been kicking it into high gear to get everything ready. And we're in pretty good shape.
It's all of the other stuff that needs to get done. The normal every day life stuff. Laundry, helping my kids with homework, providing balanced meals. (The food pyramid is so over rated!) It doesn't help that my husband left yesterday on a three week military deployment to the other side of the world!
So, my motto this week?
Need your own Keep Calm and Carry On Sign?
Stop by the show this weekend and pick one up; we'll have a few to choose from!
Just curious though, does cereal for dinner count as a nutritional meal?
I drove to northeastern Ohio today to meet up with my mom and sister to go to the Country Living Fair. We'll drive to Columbus in the morning.
But tonight, I'm "home".
My mom has lived in this house for 47 years. I'm in the room I slept in for 20 years of my life. So much has changed since then.
It's hard to believe six of us lived in this house. Now it's just my mom. Sometimes it makes me sad to be here because it feels too quiet. So different from when I was a child. But tonight, it feels good. Safe, comforting, and familiar.
I live 325 miles from here.
I don't see my family as much as I would like because life just gets in the way.
My mom and I sat in her living room looking at old photos of my babies, of happy times and relatives that were still with us, vibrant and alive.
And I'm keenly aware of the passage of time.
It seems to be a constant on my mind these day.
I think about that and wonder why.
I don't know if it's melancholy or worry.
My dad passed away six years ago. My mom is getting older.
My kids are pulling away from me as preteen and teenagers tend to do.
Chartreuse and Co.,'s monthly barn sale is this weekend and Molly and I decked out our space in fall style. The funny thing is before the barn was a fabulous venue for monthly tag sales, it was a working dairy farm. So, the second floor of the barn was loaded with hay for over 40 years! It took a ton of work to clear the hay and get the 2nd story ready for us and the other dealers to move in.
So, what did we do? We loaded our space up with hay for this month's sale!
It's a barn!
Fall is definitely in the air and hay is all over the floors to prove it!
So, if you live in the Maryland/D.C./Virginia area you definitely need to check out this sale!
Yesterday morning, I set out all by myself, excited to go to an annual antiques market in the rolling, country side of northern Virginia. I had never been to the show before and was excited to shop a new venue because I'm gearing up for both of my barn sales this month and need some pieces to fill in what I already have. So I set out looking for things that appeal to me.
I didn't have a plan for what I was looking for - I never do. I guess it's the auction girl in me; you just never know what you'll find so you can't go intent on finding something in particular.
Well the antique market was down a gravel road, in a beautiful field, and surrounded by mature oak trees. As soon as I drove in, and took in the scene, my heart started racing because I was so excited to embark on the hunt. Once the gates opened, I ran in and beelined it to a tent that looked promising. And that's when the disappointment set in. The prices were outrageous! Sky-high, ridiculous! But that didn't deter me, I just moved on to the next row of tents, but quickly discovered the prices were the same.
I'm not kidding when I tell you a small painted step stool was $125. A gilded mirror was $6,000. A feedsack covered chair was $1,250!!! A gilded birdcage was $7,500!! Don't get me wrong, there were absolutely beautiful things there. Fine, heirloom quality antiques. The kind of pieces you see in museums and homes like the DuPont mansion.
It's just not me. Maybe I like my "antiques" like I like my friends. A little less pedigreed, chippy, time-worn, but still full of life, well loved and with a deep soul that speaks to me. Nothing spoke to me yesterday. It was all spit and polished. Beautiful condition. Gleaming like they've never seen the inside of a real home. Because the stuff inside "real" homes, at least in my world, gets used, loved and treasured.
What I saw yesterday was only what you look at. Not to be touched. How can you love something like that?
Take me to a junk sale, flea market or country auction. That's where I feel at home.
There's nothing I like more than a really great auction.
(Well, okay, the beach is pretty good too!) And then there's Diet Coke, Chipotle, and decorating magazines.... But, anyway, There's a weekly auction on the eastern shore of Maryland that I try to go to every week. It's really a lot of fun because you just never know what you're going to find.
A couple of weeks ago my new friend, LouLou and I met up and spent the day bidding on all kinds of vintage finds! We won some and lost some but had a great time in the process!
Last week, I took my kids with me because my youngest, almost 11, was hoping to find one of these:
He hit the jackpot and had three to choose from! He was the high bidder ($40) and chose the handsome (in a former life) specimen in the middle! (Don't even get me started about the eyes!) It's freaky weird! He was thrilled, my oldest son was appalled and I was happy because he was happy! (As a side note, we're not a hunting family, so the only way he was ever going to get a trophy deer was to buy one! It's now hanging in the boys' room, and his brother is now begging for his own room!)
Mostly I buy things to sell at one of my two barn sales Chartreuse and Co., and The Barn Show but something usually ends up staying at my house for awhile. I couldn't resist this vintage dress form that's now in my living room: So if you've never been to an auction before, track one down in your part of the world, go check it out. Or join LouLou and I here in Maryland, we'll teach you the ropes and who knows, maybe you'll end up with treasures like these:
For several days last week none of my family members were in the same state. My oldest was at Boy Scout camp in Pennsylvania, my other son went to Ohio for a few days to visit my side of the family and I don't even remember where my husband (the airline pilot) was on his three day trip.
I know where I was though. Home. Right here, waiting for everyone to get back. It felt strange to be so scattered. A glimpse of the future though, I guess, when my kids will be off to college, my husband will still be flying all over the world, and I'll be here. Keeping things constant, status quo, so home is where everyone wants to return.
Before summer ends I'm going to enjoy the time we have together before things get too hectic. Although it's already starting! My oldest started playing football this week and his team practices five nights a week! But before summer truly fades the kids will sneak in some more pool time, we'll head to the Outer Banks for our annual beach vacation with three other families, and we'll try, as best we can, to enjoy the waning days of summer!
My oldest (13) left for Boy Scout summer camp this morning. He never looked back.
My youngest, (almost 11) won't hold my hand in public anymore.
This mama's heart breaks over the passage of time.
A week ago I turned 48.
I look in the mirror and hardly recognize the face staring back at me.
It scares me how fast time is going.
I want it to stop. I want to hold my babies and know our future is ahead of us, that we have all the time in the world to chase fireflies, do belly flops at the pool, and to skip down the street hand in hand.
But time doesn't stand still.
My oldest is so strong, independent, confident and comfortable in his skin.
My youngest is hilarious, adorable, scary smart. The President of his school's student government for God's sake!
My role in their lives is changing.
My husband, their father, is their parent of choice these days.
Who does that make me?
What does that leave me?
What place will I have in their lives when they are gone?
Well if you've ever been to a Cub Scout camp then you may be familiar with the "Boom Chuka Luka" cheer all scouters know! Wish me luck tomorrow because my whole family will be starting an all week day camp and I'm my ten year old's den leader for the week!
The kids love it! BB's, archery, crafts, fishing, science, nature and scout skills! It doesn't get any better than that for the kids!
Think about it, how many of you went out and bought fireworks for the family to set off on the 4th of July? I didn't, and none of my female friends did, but all of the men I know did!
Now, don't get me wrong, I love fireworks. There's nothing better than sitting out on a beautiful July evening, with the family and some good friends watching a professional fireworks show. What I'm not too crazy about is a bunch of husbands, setting off fireworks in the backyard!
Moms tend to be a little (okay, way, more) cautious than dads. If I had my way, my kids would be a good 50 yards away from the person who is lighting the cherry bombs, bottle rockets, M-80's, and such. But that doesn't happen in my house. My husband thinks the kids (future men, which means future fireworks purchasers) are perfectly safe just behind his shoulder, watching, learning life's pyrotechnic lessons. He thinks I'm a "little crazy" when it comes to worrying that one of them will get hurt.
My 10 year old, told me "Not to worry. We're men. We know what we're doing!" Yea, right. Well excuse me for not being comforted by the proclamation of a boy eight years away from being old enough to legally purchase fireworks!
So, as my friend Laurie and I tried to steer the kids away from the fireworks our husbands were eagerly setting off, it dawned on me. If there's testosterone involved, there's going to be fireworks. I might as well get used to it and just pray that no one gets hurt. It's what men do. (And fortunately, no one did get hurt!)
Today was the second day of my first Chartreuse and Co., barn sale. My partner, Molly, and I are having a great time and are thrilled at the response we've gotten from shoppers to the merchandise we've stocked our space with. I have to admit after two full days, and one to go, it's starting to look cleaned out! (And I'm starting to feel wiped out!!!)
As you know, I've been kicking open all kinds of new doors in my life and in the process I'm starting to see who my true friends are.
My family and I live 325 miles from our nearest relatives. It's not always easy being so far from "home". Many of you know what I mean. We no longer live in the same town as our closest relatives due to military moves, job opportunities, etc. And in the absence of family, you learn to count on friends for support, guidance, and as role models for our children when their aunts, uncles and grandparents live elsewhere.
I'm lucky because I have some very good friends. True friends. The kind of friends who drive two hours in torrential rain to support your dream. The kind of friends who call to wish you luck on a new venture. Friends who even though they can't make it, tell me they're thinking of me. Friends who ask questions, show genuine interest, and share in my joy.
I also find it amazing that I've developed new friendships through this blog with women who share the same dreams. I've been lucky enough to meet a couple of them, like Cassie and LuLu, in person. (In fact, both of them drove great distances to come to the sale this weekend!) We're there to support each other, nudge each other out of our comfort zones and cheer each other from the sidelines.
To the friends who have supported me, (new, old and bloggers) I thank you. You're the best!