Tag Archives: collectibles

Things I don’t need today.


While it’s true my face may not be as firm and tight as it once was…



I have no desire to cover it in Pepto Bismol rubber either. Sometimes the price of beauty is too high.



Is it? Because that doesn’t look the least bit appetizing to me. I need my meat to bun ratio a lot lower than this.



Would duct tape work just as well?

Asking for a friend.



I saw this remarkably accurate John Wayne doll in an antique store the other day and was ready to lambaste the seller for spelling effigy incorrectly…. until I did some research and discovered Effanbee is a company that produces collectible dolls. It’s a good thing my husband didn’t see it. I don’t need that horror staring me down in the man cave bar.



I see your dogs playing poker velvet wall hanging and raise you one toothless, cigar smoking set of gambling scallops.

My money’s on the straight flush mollusk.


Braving the heat and the crowds for treasure.


Husband wanted to go to the annual giant yard sale at the Cumberland Fairgrounds this past Saturday and you know only the lure of cheap treasure would make him wait on this kind of line.



The gates opened at 9:00am. We were there at 9:01 and the line was already insane. This is just a fraction of it –



Naturally the heat and humidity came roaring back with a vengeance that day.



How hot was it?



Bald men wearing trash bag hats hot.

Was the treasure worth the long line and $10 per person entrance fee?



I didn’t think so.



But you know the husband had to fully examine each and every table.



We were there for nearly 4 hours. Me getting sweatier and crankier by the minute… him never failing to strike up a conversation with a fellow Marine.



In his hands? Some kind of haying tool and an antique wallpaper ruler.



And whatever this was.




You be the judge.




This required some research. It certainly doesn’t sound tasty….



And though there were vintage crates galore, not one was man cave appropriate… so I just came home with a few more albums.



For Mistermuse –



Treasure… part 2.


More ephemera for the collection.



WWII gas ration book, Army Air Corps ( precursor to the Air Force) birthday card and a warning from Uncle Sam.



Vintage political.

And then there was this strange little booklet about the different lodges. When you read it, start with the number on the top… it’s a countdown.




I’ll spare you the entire book…




Long live the Elks! They know how to hold their liquor.

And finally, my personal favorite…



An ad from the St. Louis chemical company famous for its miracle cures and odd skeleton graphics. Many products contained quinine and heroin but this particular flyer is for Antikamnia. The formula varied over the years but the main ingredient was acetanilide, a coal tar derivative which caused cyanosis… turning patient’s extremities blue from a lack of oxygen. Deaths were reported as early as 1891. No miracle there I’m afraid.

The flip side.



And now, the treasure.


You knew the husband wouldn’t come home empty handed from all those antique stores we visited, right?

It was a banner day for ephemera and since the market is pretty much dead right now, these little gems were only a few dollars for the batch.



An old Maine prohibition postcard.



It’s takes 160,000 children to keep me in gin? Thank you boys and girls. River appreciates all your hard work.



Continuing in the alcohol vein… vintage beer coasters for the man cave.



So many brews I’ve never even heard of.



1939 World’s Fair. Very collectible.



Trade cards. These used to go for $20+ each.



And because I still haven’t found any crates to house them, another old vinyl record.


Because you never know what my husband will bring up from the cellar …


The search for items to sell at a flea market continues and things are being belched up from the basement at an alarming rate. I don’t know if he’ll ever actually go through with this plan, but he certainly is enjoying the trips down memory lane.

Today’s treasure?



The 1967 version of an adult party game. And judging from the look on that woman’s face, insufficient martinis were consumed before play began.



The game is simple. 24 cards are placed on top of the feely box, you draw one… then reach inside to pull out the corresponding item.



Yes, those are teenie tiny dentures. 1967 sounds like a blast.


If there’s an award for the world’s most patient wife…


I should win it.

Hands down.



Because I’ve been looking at this mess for…. count them…. 37 frickin’ days.



This giant load of useless crap was belched from my husband’s closet in the den on December 8th when he needed to climb up in the attic.

I didn’t bitch, it was a necessity.

And since he had the next 30 days off work because he didn’t take any vacation in 2020, I figured he would deal with it at his leisure.

I was wrong. So very wrong.

I didn’t bitch a week later when it was still there.

But two weeks later? I was bitching silently in my head.

Three weeks later? I was bitching in my sleep.

Four weeks later? I was bitching opening while plotting his slow, but quite painful demise.

It’s only today, 37 frickin’ days later, the day before he goes back to work….



That he decided to deal with it. Of course it’s not a matter of simply putting things back in the closet. No. That would be too simple. Instead, each and every item must be fully examined and then brought to me for the desired but never realized “Gee, that’s swell. I wish you had 6 more just like it!” response.

Then he leaves the item in front of me with hopes that I’ll look it up and find it’s worth thousands of dollars.

FYI? The Moosehead beer mirror my husband knew was a vintage bar collectible?



Turned out to be a carnival prize worth $10.

As I type he’s knee deep in a stack of tattered Look magazines from the 60’s.

This clean up may take a while.

Another 37 days is not out of the realm of possibility.


*Update – 5 hours later? The room is still littered with crap and there’s a ladder in the hallway.



Good times.


And we’re stuffing again.


Work continued on the big barn ceiling insulation project and one corner was finished.



And as I knew would happen, the covered pool table became a repository for stuff.

(Not to be confused with a suppository for stuff, because no one wants the husband’s stuff there.)



On this day I was given the task of hauling more  useless crap  treasure upstairs.




In case you were wondering…. the answer to the question how much stuff is too much stuff?  has yet to be determined.

Christ, there’s even stuff hanging from the rafters.



Antique collectibles…. or torture chamber implements?

Tough call.

But downstairs, stuffing progress was made.



And yes, there’s a bathroom sink on the love seat.



I think it looks quite comfortable, don’t you.

Was it our sink? No.

Did we need an ugly ass shell shaped sink from the 1970’s? No.

But we have it all the same, because….

Say it with me now:

It was free!



One side of the ceiling was fully stuffed when the husband realized he had a problem.

I would tell you his problem was not listening to me 5 years ago when he insisted on putting these ugly, bright as the surface of the sun, fluorescent lights in…



And running them on one electrical line with no junction boxes, but I doubt he would admit it…. because, you know. Men.

But now that he’s outfitting his man cave with a heat pump, insulation and a ceiling …. he’s changed his mind about those ugly ass lights and wants to put up these more attractive, appropriately rustic fixtures instead.



Which is great, except there are no junction boxes and they’re all on the same line.



Not being an electrician, he’s been pondering this predicament for a while…. and was forced to set up temporary lighting. (Which throws an equivalent BTU level as the bonfire at Burning Man. I swear our electric meter was spinning so fast there was smoke…. and the stock holders of Central Maine Power were chortling with glee.)

If he figures this all out without electrocuting himself and/ or burning down the barn, I’ll be sure to let you know.

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.




I mean… come on.

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

And the shower?




One teeny tiny shelf!

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




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”.




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.




As expected, that bit me in the ass.




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.




Oh, there were some interesting things.




And some seriously hideous things.




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




And the Christmas tree in a shoe.




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.




Two hours in there was a drunken Santa….




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




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




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




And some questionable artwork complete with psychedelic chickens.




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.




Rusty tools….

Rusty tools everywhere!




I passed on more vintage chickens.


IMG_2375 (1)


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.




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




There was definitely something for everyone.




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.





My worst nightmare came true….

They had a cafe.




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





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

I was doomed.




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




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.





Paging Morticia Addams….




And holy crap.

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




Six hours in I found a bug collection….




Some chicken humor…




And part of the line to check out.

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




But the husband was still going strong.




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




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




And a painting that contains fish bones.

You’re welcome.




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




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.


IMG_2402 (2)


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.




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.













A little drip now and then….


Leaking roof saga continued.

Winter is the worst possible time in Maine for your roof to spring a leak … so of course, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Remember when I said I’d cringe every time it rains?



That’s the sound of me cringing.

It poured the other day… and so did our ceiling.




So much so I had to add another pan.

Which drove the husband nuts when he came home…. and because he’s a man and had to do something?




Yeah. He decided to climb up into the attic to see where it was leaking.

Naturally this isn’t as easy as climbing a set of stairs… because no.

Here at Casa River, we like a challenge.




The den closet, home to an overflow of the husband’s useless crap  treasure.

(Yes, he collects old wooden hangers. Don’t you?)




Half of one side had to be emptied and strewn all over the room….




Because the only way to access the crawl space we call an attic is to remove all the shelving and climb up a hole at the top of the closet.




A design paradigm we curse the builders for quite often.




It’s a bit of a nightmare getting up there.




And no, the husband didn’t appreciate me making a Kodak moment out of the experience.




He wasn’t thrilled that I stuck my head up through the hole to offer advice either.

Men. There’s no pleasing you.




But look… I found an antenna from the 1970’s!




Did I mention there’s no actual floor up there? Just a few scattered pieces of particle board that break when you kneel on them.




So after scuttling around like a crab and lying on his back…




And pointing his flashlight near the section of the roof of the addition you can’t access from the crawl space, he did find where the water was coming in. Halfway up the peak, and running down the beams…. which we can find absolutely no reason for.




Doesn’t this look like fun?




Especially since there’s not a damned thing you can do about it until spring when you can rip off the shingles to find the bad spot.




Meanwhile I’ll have this lovely and ever expanding wart to look at.

And every time I do?

I hear a cash register.










A bridge too far.


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




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.




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.








Someone left an old sewing machine.




Complete with original boxes of accessories….




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.)