Tag Archives: antiques

Day 15… Small bathrooms and antique store Hell, where River reexamines how much she really loves her husband.

 

I woke up on our last full day of vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia  (Yes, we’re finally there!)  cursing our second resort’s small bathrooms.

 

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I mean… come on.

For a girl with big hair this is a very small space to make the magic happen.

And the shower?

 

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One teeny tiny shelf!

I had to put the rest of my things on the floor.

 

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We started the day at the husband’s favorite breakfast spot where he was now greeted with ”The guy who wants two plates of chipped beef on toast is here”.

 

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And seeing that we’d had 2 full weeks of doing everything I wanted to do, I thought it prudent to throw the husband a bone and let him pick our last day’s activities.

 

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As expected, that bit me in the ass.

 

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He chose the Williamsburg Antique Mall… and let me tell you, that’s a whole lotta mall.

I have never in my life seen so much  useless crap  stuff  in one place. It went on forever, aisle after aisle after aisle. The husband was in heaven.

 

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Oh, there were some interesting things.

 

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And some seriously hideous things.

 

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It was hard, but I managed to pass on this quartz rooster head.

 

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And the Christmas tree in a shoe.

 

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But damn, at the one hour mark we’d only managed to cover a little corner of the place.

 

 

The building was so huge it had push button call stations for help because it was too damned long a walk back to the front to find a sales clerk.

 

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Two hours in there was a drunken Santa….

 

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And some of the money the husband used during the Vietnam War.

 

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Three hours in there was a pair of wolves on skis…

 

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The ice cube trays I cursed with every breath as a child….

 

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And some questionable artwork complete with psychedelic chickens.

 

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Four hours in there were Civil War era hats and a saleslady who gave me a piece of paper to write down the aisle number, the booth number, the case number and a description of each article we had questions about because no one ever remembers what was where. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the picture you’ll see my hand clutching it.

And no, I wasn’t going to give it to the husband …. I’m not stupid.

The husband?

Happier than the proverbial pig in shit.

 

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Rusty tools….

Rusty tools everywhere!

 

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I passed on more vintage chickens.

 

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And wondered who this wide eyed Santa was going to poke with that…. that….

Whatever the heck that was.

At the four and a half hour mark I had to use the rest room.

 

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Where I did indeed flush my hopes and dreams of ever leaving this place down the toilet.

 

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There was definitely something for everyone.

 

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Even if some of the price tags made you gasp.

Five hours in I told the husband I was too hungry to continue and we needed to go get some lunch.

 

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Yeah.

My worst nightmare came true….

They had a cafe.

 

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Where we had tiny overpriced sandwiches and frozen solid fruit to fortify us for more hours of antique shopping.

 

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It was at this point I knew we’d never leave.

I was doomed.

 

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Too late for that warning…. the husband has had it for years.

 

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He was bound and determined to see every last item in this store or die trying.

And by this time I was happily planning his demise.

 

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Yikes.

Paging Morticia Addams….

 

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And holy crap.

Who in their right mind wants that hanging on their wall?

 

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Six hours in I found a bug collection….

 

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Some chicken humor…

 

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And part of the line to check out.

These people took a number…. and have probably been waiting since June 13, 1976.

 

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But the husband was still going strong.

 

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And if I told you how many rusty old pesticide sprayers we have in the barn already? You’d fear for my safety.

 

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Here’s proof positive there’s a magazine for everything.

 

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And a painting that contains fish bones.

You’re welcome.

 

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SEVEN HOURS  in and we weren’t even 2/3’s of the way through.

 

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I knew he wasn’t going to leave without buying something, but by then I’d reached my limit of  utterly useless crap  antique shopping.

I was on board with the old phone. It could have been fun in the barn…. when he builds that bar he keeps talking about.

You know, the bar he can’t build because he has too much utterly useless crap  stuff in the way.

 

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Eight hours in?

I was silently screaming FFS….just pick something and let’s go!

Or maybe I said it out loud, I can’t remember.

 

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So there it is, the result of 8 hours of antique mall shopping.

A giant glass water bottle to add to the other 20 or so giant glass water bottles he currently has collecting cobwebs.

 

 

I love him.

I do.

And as long as I keep telling myself that I’ll be fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamestown Re-creation…. the settlement, some rusty tools and a cocktail tease.

 

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The first settlement in America looked something like this.

 

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And I have to admit the buildings were larger than I thought they’d be.

 

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This was the church.

 

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And I swear it’s bigger than the one in my town today.

 

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I loved the thatched roofs on the cottages.

 

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And we enjoyed poking around inside them.

 

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Some of them were simple.

 

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Some a little more grand.

 

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Check out the armor on top of the cupboard.

 

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Nothing like some weaponry over the dining room table to get the gastric juices flowing.

 

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Speaking of that…. there was an armory.

 

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And it doesn’t matter how many times I see these, I still can’t imagine having to wear them into battle. I mean damn, they make my underwire bra look positively comfortable in comparison.

 

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Needless to say the husband was loving all the old tools and farm implements.

 

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Yes dear….

 

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Rusty metal…. I see it.

 

 

The last building we checked out was a communal kitchen.

 

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And you know what I found… right?

 

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Wandering at will….

 

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Hoping something would fall off the table.

 

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There were also fake cocktails, which is a rude tease to those of us who happened to be thirsty.

Hell, if these fell off the table they’d bounce.

And that’s not my type of cocktail at all.

 

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Okay.

Now we’re talkin’….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

 

This was what I’d come to see.

 

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And with a nod to Abe, we entered.

 

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By definition:

The DeWitt continued…. George Washington, creepy dolls, weavings, and more Name That (not) Crap.

 

Aside from all the decorative items, the Dewitt had some pieces of historic interest as well.

 

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Here’s the father of our country casually leaning on a cannon. And if you look closely, you’ll see this…

 

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Yes, they even have George Washington’s jewelry…. which had been lost for nearly two centuries. It was rediscovered in 1990, when the daughter-in-law of a Virginia Beach woman descended from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall found it in her dead mother-in-law’s jewelry box.

Just think… it could have been put in a yard sale. Or donated to Goodwill.

Damn. Another missed opportunity.

 

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Continuing past the silver, there were vast collections of porcelain and pottery.

 

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Complete with creepy ass vintage dolls.

 

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If you invite this little chicka to a tea party?

She’s going to nibble your fingers like biscuits.

 

 

By the amount of tankers on display, there was some serious beer drinking going on in the 18th century.

 

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Have I mentioned this place went on forever?

 

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It was fabulous.

 

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There was a section dedicated to indigenous art as well.

 

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And these were quite special.

 

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Even the husband was intrigued.

 

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Each piece had a story.

 

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But I’ll just give you one example.

 

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Two years?

 

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Damn. That’s dedication.

 

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George showed up again, though in iron this time.

 

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“Dumb” stoves?

I’ve cursed a few in my lifetime, but never knew they were actually a thing.

After George,  I knew I’d lost the husband.

 

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Because this is his idea of heaven.

They weren’t rusted, but these are just the sort thing he likes to fill our barn with.

( And if his were in good shape and displayed artfully like this? I wouldn’t half mind.)

 

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And because you know I can’t pass up an opportunity, let’s play Name That (not) Crap again.

 

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What is it …. #1?

 

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What is it… #2?

 

 

 

 

 

DeWitt Decorative Arts Museum…. a whole lotta silver and Name That (not) Crap.

 

I’ve visited a large number of museums in my day and tend to be jaded…. but I have to say, the collection of sterling silver in Williamsburg impressed even me.

 

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Some were simple.

 

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Others elaborate.

(Goose feet! I loved it.)

 

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Some embellished your shoes.

 

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Cases as far as the eye could see of master craftsmanship.

 

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The thought of polishing all these beauties left me quaking….

 

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But honestly…

 

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Wow.

 

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There was a cover for your honeycomb…

 

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A ceremonial scepter.

 

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And countless teapots.

 

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Morbid jewelry?

Check.

 

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Giant turtle?

 

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With a slightly bored husband mimicking the facial expression of the fellow over his shoulder?

Check.

 

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There was even a piece perfect for my Name That Crap game…. although it’s far from crap.

Let’s play!

What is it?

Cape Cod Day 6… antiques, cocktails and dinner on the water.

 

Because you know no road trip with my husband is complete without a visit to an antique store…

 

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I’d managed to make it almost 6 full days without one, but my luck ran out.

 

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He scoured the stalls…

 

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Thoroughly perused the cases…

 

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Chuckled at the creepy mid century Santas.

 

 

And then….

 

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Bought a folding freight sled.

And if that wasn’t bad enough? The damned thing was from Maine!

Jesus wept.

 

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And I drank.

 

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It was the only appropriate response.

 

 

So we ended the afternoon at a wonderful waterfront restaurant…

 

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Called Fisherman’s View.

 

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Where I worked my way down the cocktail list.

 

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Have you ever had Casoni 1814 in a mixed drink? Ooh la la!

I hadn’t… but will be looking for it soon.

 

 

Food?

 

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Yes, they had that too. But since it was late afternoon and I wouldn’t be cooking when we got back, we opted to stay and wait for the dinner menu…

 

 

And watched the non stop crabbing…

 

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As well as some tugs escorting a barge through the Cape Cod Canal.

 

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Crab cake appetizer for me….

 

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Butternut squash and apple bisque for the other half.

And as evening rolled around…

 

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Neither one of us managed to get past that night’s specials.

 

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Scallops Spaghettini for me…

 

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Beef tenderloin for the hubs.

 

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Both were superb…. and I cursed the the fact that we hadn’t found this place earlier in our trip.

Replete…

 

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We took a short walk around the harbor.

 

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Enjoyed the sunset.

 

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And the view of that wonderful restaurant lit up in the distance.

 

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Back at the resort condo, the husband was knee deep in the impeachment coverage on MSNBC.

A guaranteed way to kill my buzz…

 

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So I escaped upstairs to my nook overlooking the living room to read….

 

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And (not quite) drunkenly play with my phone.

Cape Cod Day 5…. P’town, sand and a museum.

 

Day 5 of our Cape Cod vacation found us driving to the Outer Cape. About as out as you can get and still be on the Cape actually…

 

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Provincetown.

Or P’town as it’s known to the locals.

I’ve heard it’s the place to be in the summer, but it was November and the wall to wall tourists were long gone. Sadly, so was most of the fun as many places were closed for the season. But we managed to have a good time all the same.

As you draw near, you realize it’s unlike other sections of the Cape.

 

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John F. Kennedy designated a National Seashore here…

 

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And there are miles upon miles of unspoiled beach.

 

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As well as some pretty impressive sand dunes along the road.

 

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But it was cool, foggy and threatening rain so we kept driving… keeping an eye out for this:

 

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Thankfully it’s hard to miss on the skyline. Wanting to climb to the top for the fabulous views, I was unaware of the museum at it’s base.

 

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Never one to pass up a museum, we began strolling.

 

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The first thing you notice? Pilgrims.

 

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And Pilgrim history. Figuring it was because they landed up the coast at Plymouth… I had to admit I was shocked.

 

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Whaaaat? You mean my grade school teachers got it wrong…

And I went all the way to Plymouth to photograph a rock for nothing! Yes ladies and gentlemen, the Pilgrims landed in P’town first. And believe me when I say they take that fact very seriously at the museum.

 

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But it wasn’t all Pilgrims.

 

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The building was filled with maritime history…

 

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And a musk ox, like any good museum should be.

 

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There were recreations of a Captain’s ship board quarters…

 

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Which aside from the chamber pot, looked pretty comfy.

 

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As well as his home on land.

 

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There was an antique fire engine…

 

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And a wreath made of human hair.

 

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Because who doesn’t want one of those hanging on their living room wall?

 

 

There were maps of the Cape..

 

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With questionable artwork.

 

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Is it me, or is that Griffon in dire need of a Jane Russell 18 hour bra?

 

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There was some Arctic expedition fashion…

 

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Shoes!

 

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Even a rooster hat…

 

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And a couple of local celebs who clearly knew how to have a good time.

 

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Yes, there was a Mayflower replica…

 

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But it was the antique doll collection that made me want to run screaming from the room.

 

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Holy Hell, those things are creepy.

 

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I mean, come on…

 

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You know this one will be feasting on your flesh long before you’re dead.

 

 

Quick…

Find the monument before she gets hungry.

 

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White Mountains trip…. last night, last day, last post in the series.

 

A full day of resort hopping on day 7 made us hungry so we stopped at an inn near our resort that had a well recommended British pub/restaurant.

 

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The Jolly Drayman seemed inviting enough.

 

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And though it was a very small place with limited seating…

 

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I was willing to like it.

It’s a shame I couldn’t.

 

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What English pub worth it’s salt only has 1 British beer on tap? Where was the Harp? The Smithwicks? The Old Speckled Hen? Yes, there was Guinness thank God….

But Pabst Blue Ribbon? Come on!

It went downhill from there.

 

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A limited menu.

A disinterested, unfriendly server.

Uncomfortable seats.

 

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And the worst beef Wellington I’ve ever had.

 

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The husband had a not nearly hot enough beef stew ( with mashed potatoes?)  that must have weighed 12 pounds…  served in a fish bowl.

 

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Framed fart humor not withstanding….

I wouldn’t go back.

Day 8…. the departure.

One more breakfast under the canoe.

 

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And beside the twig lights.

 

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We checked out and said goodbye to the dangerous looking ski motif rocking chairs…

 

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And laughed at the resort’s wedding advertisement for the last time.

 

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Heck, that’s as good a reason as any… right?

 

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Through one more covered bridge…

 

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And because you know my husband can’t drive past an antique store.

 

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Funny part is, I went outside to wait for him because the owner was a crotchety old man I didn’t like the look of.

A few minutes later the husband comes out and I can hear that old man screeching his lungs out like a lunatic, cursing my husband from here to next Sunday.

Apparently husband had the audacity to take an old magazine out of it’s plastic sleeve and flip through it. Guess that’s a no no in the mountains.

Anyway, vacation over.

Home safe and sound with…. how shall we say?

 

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Some coffee and a few beauty products for my cabinets.

Hey, if they’re going to charge an extra $25 resort fee per day for that lousy condo?

I’m going to fill my suitcase on the way out.

 

 

The end.

(You may now officially breathe that sigh of relief you’ve been holding.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bridge too far.

 

It’s bad enough my husband stops at every yard sale he sees.

 

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It’s bad enough he comes home from the dump with more than he went with.

It’s bad enough he built a giant barn and filled it with useless stuff before it was completed.

 

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But what happened the other day?

Is a bridge too far.

We woke up, had a lovely breakfast, went outside and saw something on the barn porch. I didn’t think it was a good something…

But the husband dragged it inside before it could run away.

 

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Yeah.

 

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Someone left an old sewing machine.

 

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Complete with original boxes of accessories….

 

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And owners manual… with free mouse turd. Ack!

We have no idea who committed this heinous crime…. but when I find out?

They will feel my wrath.

 

 

The husband needs no help finding old worthless junk!

So please… I beg you.

Bypass our porch and take your crap to the dump next time!

(Though not the one in our town, or any neighboring towns where he’s apt to shop.)

 

 

 

 

He volunteers, I do all the work.

 

So we’ve established my husband is a collector of  vast piles of junk,  boatloads of crap,  too much rusty old stuff,  some eclectic treasure.

Lots of people know this, and think being an antique expert goes hand in hand.

 

 

They constantly give him items and want a full history,  description of use,  plus what it’s worth.

Problem is….. more often than not he has no frickin’ clue.

 

 

Which is when he hands it off to me.

I research, investigate, and compare so he can go back and look knowledgeable. Which leads to more people giving him more items to identify. It’s a vicious circle.

*Note to self – stop researching, investigating and comparing*

Last month he came home with two items that were beyond even my scope of reference.

Supposed Native American artifacts.

 

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A medicine man’s turtle shell rattle…

 

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And a warrior’s breastplate.

 

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I admit, even I was clueless here.

 

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His friend gave him some accompanying paperwork that was, to say the least….. a wee bit strange. It was a statement from a man named Silver Wolf who said he saw the items at an antique show 10 years ago and was then visited in his dreams by the original owner Red Hawk, who lived in the late 1700’s.

Okaaay.

A man named Ernie then purchased the rattle, and took it to a Pow Wow to “awaken it”. A red tail hawk flew overhead during the ceremony and apparently that was the spirit of the original owner.

Okaaay.

Later, a chief said the rattle had a person named Many Eyes bound inside of it and the spirit needed to be set free.

So, yeah.

How the hell do you research that?

I tried. And the closest I came was this:

 

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Pretty damn close. (Red tailed hawk and trapped spirit not withstanding.)

As for breastplates? They’re everywhere… in hundreds of designs, made with multiple materials, some old, some new and I have no utter clue how to differentiate.

So I went to the Maine State Museum….

Where no one had a clue either.

 

 

But they gave me the name and email address of a supposed expert…. so I contacted her and sent photos.

This was her response:

 

Boy. I’m not the expert, At All. The breast plate looks modern to me, but don’t take my word for it! And I have never seen a rattle like that so I really can’t judge. It could be Plains, but equally, could be new. It looks dirty, as opposed to worn, which sets off alarms for me. 

That said, I am NOT that versed. If you want to talk to someone who is, my ex-husband is very knowledgable.

Best of luck in your search!

And thank you for thinking of the Maine State Museum.

 

 

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So after wasting more time than I thought possible on this, I was done.

I passed along what I learned to the husband to give to his friend, with the expert’s ex husband’s phone number, and called it a day.

The next morning after having breakfast with his friend? The husband came back with the items and said his friend wanted me to sell them for him.

What???

No!!

Personally… if the items are real Native American artifacts? I’d give them back to the tribe of origin, or at the very least a museum. So much Native culture has been bought and sold over the years, I felt bad even having them at our house.

And if they’re reproductions? You wouldn’t get any serious money for them so why bother.

This is what happens when your husband can’t tell his friend no.

It’s a simple process…. and one I need him to learn.

 

 

See?