Tag Archives: collecting

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.

 

 

zf1ynw

 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please don’t tell my husband.

 

At one time or another my husband has collected all of the following:

Bottles, playing cards, coins, rusty farm implements, stamps, egg coddlers, antique mitre saws, Life magazines, Coca Cola memorabilia, post cards, baseball bats, radios, toy cars, fishing lures, vintage board games, alabaster eggs, crackle glass, razors, old telephones, fire extinguishers, glass oil jugs, wooden hangers, milk crates, Fenton, mason jars, books, Tinker Toys, sleds, bean pots, grain scales, wooden skis, haying forks, lamp fixtures, cigar boxes, pencil sharpeners, apple peelers, grinding wheels, cast iron skillets, flour sifters, fishing rods, tennis rackets, flashlights and egg beaters.

 

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And no, I’m not exaggerating.

The sad part is, that’s probably not the entire list… but I’m cringing just thinking about it and had to stop. Or slaughter him in his sleep, and who needs that mess on a weeknight.

Kidding!

I think…

For the past 35 years if someone was selling it? He was buying it. And as soon as he had one? He wanted more. To which my response was always..

 

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We currently have an apple press, a wooden washing machine, a butter smoothing table, a potato planter and two 5 foot tall wagon wheel frames in our barn.

Why?

My answer is –

 

 

His answer is –

 

 

So when I read there’s now a market for old Kool Aid packets, and they’re selling for hundreds of dollars a piece?

 

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It’s true.

 

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It’s beyond ridiculous.

And if any of you tell my husband?

I will hunt you down and rip your tongue out through your nose.

 

 

 

P.S….

If the late 80’s and early 90’s are vintage…

What the hell am I?

 

 

Please throw that away….

 

My husband is a hoarder.

He collects. He acquires.

He’s never met an empty space he didn’t immediately want to fill.

And he saves everything.

 

 

I’ve learned over the years that if I let him have certain sections of our home… the garage, the shed, the barn, the cellar and a closet….. I can just close the doors and pretend they’re not filled with crap.

 

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He’s a good man, and a wonderful husband. Lord knows there are worse things to deal with than too much stuff .

Of course I also have to clear paths now and then… a la the Collyer Brothers.

It took the police 5 hours to find his body.

 

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When it starts to drive me nuts?

I tell myself it’s just a quirk of his personality and I love him anyway. Sometimes I have to say that twice.

But the other day I realized he’s been stuffing my file drawers full of old, unwanted documents for years.. and that won’t be tolerated.

 

 

Leave and earnings statements from 1986? Check!

Insurance bills from 2001? Why not.

Water purity test results from 2007? Yup.

A Groupon for a restaurant that went out of business 7 years ago? Of course.

His late mother’s newspaper delivery renewal form? Sure.

Doctors instructions for a colonoscopy prep in 1999? Oh, yeah.

Why does he want these things?

I have no earthly idea, but they sure pile up.

 

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( Yes, that’s a stash of alcohol in my office.

Don’t judge, the liquor cabinet is full. )

 

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So I shredded. And shredded. And shredded some more.

I shredded so long and so much….

The shredder was literally smoking.

Which could have gone very wrong…. very quickly.

 

 

3 hours of sorting and shredding and almost catching the house on fire later, it was done.

And you know what that means?

Tomorrow he’s going to ask me for that Security Awareness Virtual Initiative Course completion certificate from 2003.

I just know it.

 

 

 

This literally makes me twitch.

 

A few years ago my husband built a barn.

It’s a lovely barn….

 

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Complete with a farmer’s porch for me and my late afternoon book.

Or margarita.

(Who are we kidding?

I don’t always bring the book.)

 

 

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He’d never built anything before and aside from a few minor boo boos, it turned out very well.

The first floor was meant to house the riding lawn mower, 2 motorcycles, 3  push mowers, 2 weed wackers, a snow blower and other assorted tools.

That was why we built it. Because our old barn/shed is falling apart and we have no where else to put all those things.

 

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See?

When I say falling apart… I mean literally falling.

Needless to say the barn did not go up quickly. It was worked on nights and weekends…. and from the first footer to now?

 

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7 years.

And it’s still not really finished.

Last weekend the husband was back at it, putting up interior walls.

 

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Of course there’s a problem with the construction taking that long.

It gave the husband time to fill the barn with crap.

So much crap that not only is there no room for the lawn mowers and motorcycles…

There’s now barely enough room for him to put up walls.

 

 

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And that literally makes me twitch.

 

 

Why do you see an office chair, a microwave, a water cooler, a wagon wheel, a fold up bed, 2 metal wheelchair ramps, a driftwood tree and a card table in there?

Because someone was throwing them away….

And they were free.

 

 

Not pictured are 3 front doors, 2 locked safes without combinations, a potato planter, an 8 track tape player and a scale for weighing bags of grain.

Will he be planting potatoes or weighing grain bags while listening g to 8 track tapes?

No.

Will he be replacing our front door?

Hell no.

But apparently knowing he could is enough.