Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Picking the Pickers

So we made a stop on the way to Chicago at LeClaire Iowa to visit the Pickers. I've blogged about them before. I'm a fan of the TV show American Pickers, and DD hadn't visited the Antique Archeology store before so here we are on a rainy Friday morning!
 The new building-which you probably heard about on the show-looks great! It's a lot bigger than the old building. There are a lot more room in the new building. And they replaced the old hillside rocks with big blocks allowing a little bit more parking.
 Plus almost all of the old stuff is for sale. We liked the lamp made with electric insulators for shades here. It was for sale, for something like $245, I think. But you could always buy a souvenir!
 I remember the episode when Frank & Mike Picked this bike in a wood frame.
 Then we stepped over to the old building and had a lookie loo over there.  Most of the old stuff in the old building is not for sale.
But you can sure buy souvenirs!
Did I mention that it was FABRIGANZA next door at Expressions In Threads, and I DROVE ON BY!!!!!
Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicago SIghtseeing

So we knew we wanted to go see "the Bean" at millennium Park in downtown Chicago. We parked in a crazy expensive parking garage-$27 for about 2 hours-and walked out to the park. 
 There are a couple of big wall type of fountains and they change colors and make pictures by some electronic magic as you watch them-pretty cool! Then there's the "big green space" which is where they often have concerts and events. It has this overhead decorative art work covering the whole area. Pretty cool.
 Then just a few steps away is The bean. It's an artwork made of polished stainless steel and was crazy busy with tourists!
 I'm not very good with the selfie business....

 It was pretty funny, we must be pretty polite folks, because it was almost impossible to not walk in front of someone who was taking a photo! We were dodging cameras everywhere! Look though, see we are reflected in the bean! Cool huh!?

 The tall buildings are always fun to see. SO we walked on down to Michigan ave and all the big stores.
 One thing we noticed right away about Chicago-there are security people, event security, park security, store security, traffic security, everywhere you go security!
 Look at those big iron posts holding up the railway line. YES! We drove under the rail line for a long time. It's kind of an eerie feeling and loud when the train goes overhead!
 We went into the Lane Bryant store across the street-they had a security guy there too-it was a nice store but not any larger selection of stuff, just a lot larger space.
 Look at those cool old pillars in the Macy's store-at the other end they had chandeliers! Of course my camera is dying by usual, will I never learn!!!Get an extra phone battery! So then we headed out to Naperville to rest our tired feet at the Hilton Hotel there. Thank you Priceline-name-your-own-price. $67 bucks got us on the 8th floor at the Hilton in Lisle/Naperville.
 Nice room, comfy bed-pillows were feather pillows, but kind of flat, but that's the only thing I could even begin to complain about. Look at the cute coffee station outside the bathroom. I think that's a really nice touch, so many hotels have the coffeemaker on the desk or in the bathroom-YUCK! And I don't even drink coffee!!
 But I have to point out that if you choose to drink that bottle of Evian water there on the bottom shelf, it's gonna cost you $3.25.
 Nice bathroom! I really loved those heavy glass doors! The shower head had a massaging feature too-ahhhhh, so relaxing!
 The hotel was booked to capacity with many weddings and lots of tourists and at least one girl's lacrosse team, but it was still quiet and peaceful. SO the next morning is our big day to hit Antiques Roadshow. We planned to park at McCormick place-only $21 to park for the whole day-and grab a bus or train to go do some more sight seeing.
 We walked along lake Michigan, dodged a few geese and a couple of seagulls.
 HI Honey! There were big yachts and little fishing boats, very fun to see.
We hiked along for quite a ways, and turned in to the museum area and along the outside of Soldier Field, thinking we'd find a bus stop or a train stop, but even though we followed the signs, we missed out on the fun of public transportation. Also a big college football event near Soldier field. Lots of tourists and lots of traffic! Before we knew it, the time was gone and we had to hot foot it back to the McCormick center for Antiques Roadshow....oh boy, we are going to be late so we flag down a taxi. Smart girls that we are! Too bad our taxi driver doesn't get that we need to be at the lakeside area of McCormick Place and tries to drop us in another place, we kept telling him to go to parking lot C but he must have been sign illiterate...anyways, $15 in taxi fair later we are where we need to be! I felt just like those folks on The Amazing Race TV show when their taxi driver gets them lost!!
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Antiques Roadshow

So I'll just post this real quick. We had fun at Antiques Roadshow. This time we DID have to stand in a couple of LONG LINES . The event was organized pretty much the same as the last time we went in Madison, WI. When you approach the area for appraisals you get a ticket to go to that area of expertise. 
SO for the belt buckle that once belonged to Hub's Dad, we were sent to the Tribal  Art table which included western art...sounds wacky but that was it. So we only had two people in line ahead of us, and we spoke with a knowledgeable fella, he punched our ticket and told us that this buckle was a trophy buckle and they are collectible and he'd never seen one with short horns like this, so it may be slightly more valuable, he estimated it tat $200 to possibly up to $500.   COOL!
So we go on to the next place the
one for the civil war journal and tintype photo. That was at the Arms & Militaria table. Again we only had a couple of people ahead of us! I was pretty thrilled to have Rafael Eledge appraise our items! We always like his spots on the show. Anyways he looked through the journal and I told him the dates there and the discharge paper that we had. He said the journal was in pretty bad shape, but was interesting listing folks who died or where discharged and he said he would value it at about $200.  I asked if he had a guess about what some of the figuers in the book were and he said he guessed poker or card game winnings, since the date on the journal was March 17,1863 and he was discharged on March 27,1863.  We speculate that this journal was helping him pass the time in the hospital. Mr. Eledge also valued the tintype picture at around $200 also. He said it was not an original photo, but was printed on the tin from another original, Like the original in the gold frame we had.  He said  that's why you can see the nail on the top left edge of the picture-the photographer took a picture of a picture nailed to the wall! So we moved on to our next item the lamp.
The line for Decorative arts was pretty long.
We waited a little over an hour in line there. The time goes pretty fast if you chat with the folks you are in line with. We met a lot of very nice people, with everything from a door knob possibly from the Chicago Board of Trade, a lady with a diamond ring from the 1800's, a guy with a collection of police billy clubs-learned a lot about those things! and just so many interesting things that I'd never seen before. DD and I chuckled to our selves sometimes when we'd see some one walk by with an item we'd seen before somewhere and appraise it our selves! Anyway we fianlly got our turn and our appraiser was Wes Cowen! WOW! I was pretty thrilled, we love him on History Dectectives as well as the Roadshow. DD plunked the lamp on the table and told him this was the ugliest lamp in the world, he said oh no it's not the ugliest, there are plenty that are uglier that his one! Perhaps a lighthouse collector could be interested in this one and he wondered if the globe was original-probably not-and he said well, $25 would be a fair price for the lamp. We had such fun with that appraisal! 
So we only had my stick left to get appraised.
We headed over to the Collectables line.....OH MY!!!!!!!
Yes this line was HUGE!
 We got inline and chatted a little bit, but I think everyone was kind of tired of talking about their stuff by then, we were sure wore out since we had hiked all over the Soldier Field/lakefront/museum section of Chicago. 
It was 3 o'clock, we had been inside the McCormick Center since 11:30am. I looked at DD and said, so what do you think? We waited about and hour, and the line moved a little bit, not fast at all, I told DD I'm Ok with what we got done, I'm OK with what a lady standing in line told me about my stick. She has an Antique shop in Michigan, and she told me that my stick was actually a measuring stick that a person would use to measure how much fuel was in a gas tank. I told her, that I had worked in a convenience store and they fuel guys still used a long stick to measure how much was in the underground tanks then, a lot longer stick but, the same idea. Anyways, I still don't know how much the stick is worth, but I like it and I guess it's good enough to know what it is, at least what it might be!LOL!
As we were leaving we stopped by the table for Liberty Mutual and won a couple of prizes-a T shirt and a to go drinking mug! Hey it was a great day, and we were bushed! Time to hit the road and go home!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Picking to Pack

 So I'm getting ready to go to Chicago with DD to visit Antiques Roadshow. I have 3 items I've settled on, A silver belt buckle from Hub's Dad, a book and tintype picture from the civil war from my Mom's family and the stick I got advertising Aultman threshing equipment.
We can take up to two things each so I can take one more thing, what do you think brain glass lamp or wooden cup thingy? I can't decide....
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Just a Reminder...

 Yeah, maybe it's not as hot outside as I was thinking.....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Auction Fun

SO, DD and me went to an auction over near Amana, Iowa on Saturday. I confirmed what I always suspected, Tupperware lids live forever, while Tupperware containers disappear.
 Take a look at this GIANT deep freeze. DO people still call it a deep freeze? This freezer could hold a few bodies with no trouble-it's a good 6 feet long- and it's like new! It sold for something like $100.
 There was lots of furniture,
 all set out for easy viewing,
 and for easy test sitting-Hi Honey! We actually bought that chair! It was $5.
 Oh yeah, look at this giant crock-it sold for about $145. There was a ton of small stuff, it took forever to get to the dishes.
 Yup, can you see what the auctioneer is holding up in his left hand? Yes, it's Jadeite.
 Poor DD was just a little nervous when Auctioneer Bret Wears was waving those two dishes around, but he didn't drop them, she bid and won the two dishes for $30.
 I came home with this chair which, while a little low, is soooo comfortable! and this little stool, which will be an ottoman for me. You know how I love those hairpin legs. This little stool was sold along with a whole pile of stuff, so DD asked the guy who bought the pile if he'd sell it, and he did! We kind of thought he wanted the pile of stuff and not the cute iron legged ottoman, and we were right!
Now it's time to focus on what's coming up...Antiques Roadshow in Chicago!!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We Are Handy

So our riding lawn mower has been having a tough time cutting the grass lately. Hubs suggested we change the blades-have them sharpened and then the problem would be solved. DD and I thought we could do this-she's my gardener you know- so we googled how to change lawn mower blades on YouTube and referred to the owners manual-yes, I have it! So the guy in the video did it in like, 15 minutes. We figured we're good to go. Gee I'm glad we had the manual other wise how would we know that one side of the mower deck is help on with a rusty bent old cotter key and the other side is held on with a shiny easy-to-remove snap clip? Hang on I gotta go get the pliers. This is definitely a 2 person job! OK we're good to go, we got the deck off-even though the guy in the video obviously didn't have to dink around with the spring that connects the PTO cable! Look there it is-all gently flipped over and ready for removal.
 Wait-I don't have a socket wrench big enough for that bolt.....Hey DD run up to Stewart's and borrow a bigger socket. I sweep up grass while she's gone.
 Ok now to get that bolt off-c'mon muscles!!!....wait we need a cheater bar-good thing I have a handy dandy fence post- we never would have gotten those bolts off! They were really tight! The guy in the video obviously had his bolts loosened up for him-he probably didn't have to use a fence post for a cheater bar.....
 Anyways, look one blade on one to go! So far so good-no bloodshed, no injuries-just a lot of dirt... and grass stains. OK re assemble again-lucky I have more cotter keys-that still burns my butt-why the heck would some manufacturer do that!!!????
TA-DA!! Off to mow the lawn! Oh it works great! We are awesome!! OK so the guy in the video did it in about 15 minutes and it took us a little more than an hour, but we are HANDY!!
Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tires For Wellie from Discount Tires

So our old pick up Wellie,  needs tires. Deep sigh! Have you looked for tires lately? YIKES! SO I called around to the local guys and clicked around to the internet guys and then I checked the newest guys in Coralville, Iowa- Discount Tire. 
I checked their on line tire selection and for the size our pick up needed, I found prices better than anywhere else I had looked. I called to confirm that they had what it said on the internet, and that I could get an appointment, and WOW! I got all 4 tires, and the spare changed out for less than $350
 Not only that, but the folks who work at Discount Tire were really great. They were polite, not greasy, showed me a couple of options and didn't make me feel like I was bad because I wanted to pay the lowest price. And they didn't come tell me that they had to charge me more, because "you need to replace this" or" that thing is bad" or some such crap like a lot of other tire places I've been to.  The price I saw on the internet was the price I paid at Discount Tire-how awesome is that!? And on top of all of that, they have a nice clean store with a comfortable waiting are-but we didn't have to wait long, less than half an hour later we were outta there!

And I can drive into Discount Tire anytime and they'll check my air pressure-for free and I get free lifetime tire rotation too! Looks good right? These tires have an 85000 mile warranty, with almost 200000 miles on her, I don't know if  Wellie will last that much longer, but she's got the tires to do it!