Category Archives: shopping

Mercury Retrograde Birthday


Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary. (Or things just start ‘happening’ for no reason…..)

I was telling people on Facebook how my day has had it’s ups and down.  A pal who is a psychic (it says spiritual as occupation) said it sounded like I was being affected by the Mercury retrograde which is occurring for the next several days.

I woke up not feeling well, so not sure if it was sinuses or a cold. I’ve been ‘deep’ cleaning a lot, so I’m thinking it’s the dust factor. I’m glad I digging deep, but it happens almost every time.

I had a few knocks on the door-good stuff was delivered!

First from my friend Angela from NY

So pretty and perfect for the autumn!

The Fed Ex came and these Peruvian Lilies were from my mom. I had sent her some and they lasted a long time.

Sean wanted to take me out to lunch and I had a voucher that would fit the bill. It was a British Tea Room over in Delaware.

We were a wee bit late and Sean was like deer in headlights. There were mostly women, but a few teenagers who ogled him like he was a teeny bopper singer. : )

We both had Christmas teas. I had like a coconut, vanilla and Sean had a chocolate mint.

I had to order the ‘High Tea’ as part of the voucher. I had an entire pot of tea plus this and a salad.

egg salad, chicken salad and cucumber tea sandwiches on the lower tier; Cherry scone and a sausage biscuit in the middle and dessert-mostly pumpkin enhanced. I shared many of these with Sean who had a salad, egg salad, pasta salad and fruit salad.

That cellphone would prove to be the first mercury retrograde of the day. More later.

He looks thrilled, doesn’t he?

Look, another guy Sean!

There were a few geocaches found. It’s fun with Sean. The first one was behind the shopping center where we had lunch. We went up a little hill near a ball field. There was a cement barrier. We saw it inside a log!

We got gas and there was one near the lamp post-ha ha.

We decided to go to Kmart. Brian needs new clothes now. I got him a shirt and jeans and a few other things. I had left my phone in the car to charge up and I went to look at it and it was completely dead.  I can usually get it to start up again. We had saved our tea and Sean had gotten a drink from Subway (for his dinner as he has class) and I had to hold the now lukewarm tea. Brian called twice on Sean’s phone and the second time he threw it at me and the tea went all over the mat (my car). It had a lid on it too. So I drove home with my feet up. It only got wet around the edge of the rug.

We went out to dinner as I had gotten a birthday pack with assorted, mostly restaurant coupons, so I picked ( a place down in Hockessin, DE. I ordered a Denver steak, medium well and it came almost black on the outside and mostly red on the outside. I complained and  I got my wine for free.

I came home and plugged my phone in and it started to reboot (I had even called T-Mobile and was told to get a new battery). I did order the battery anyway.

On top of all that I am just plain grouchy-I really tried not to be too.

I’m waiting for Sean to come home from class to have cake.

Got a call from my brother Ken and niece Tori, so that made me feel better.

It’s been an interesting day for sure!

Consumer power


Never be afraid to write or talk to someone about anything  that doesn’t seem right to you. I have abbreviated names for privacy.

From: D. C. (me of course)
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 9:33 PM
To: B. L.
Subject: Cleaning at your restaurant

I think you have a beautiful, inviting place and we have enjoyed our visits here for dinner.
Tonight I happen to be sitting with my husband in the middle section near the fireplace, but at the end near where the food is made. I saw a cloth that was used for cleaning off tables fall to the floor and the worker picked it up and used it to wipe off tables anyway. I don’t know if he folded it again, but to me he should have gotten a new cloth. You can never be too careful that way.
Thought you’d like to know,
Mrs. C from Avondale, PA
I DEFINITELY want to know! Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. I will make sure that never happens again.
I appreciate you taking your time to give us feedback.
B. L.
Also, when we got home from our furniture shopping trip, Brian saw that the store had a $50 off coupon. He filled out a form and got a coupon code. Whether it’s just for online shopping, I’m not sure, but we sent the code to the guy at the store. He had said earlier since we were buying a chair too he would cut us a deal, didn’t see that. Crossing fingers.

Retail therapy


It was time to get a new sofa and chair. The cushions are too flat on the bottom  and the back cushions got too lumpy.  My poor back gives me grief almost everytime I get out of it. The recliner doesn’t work right anymore. When I got up this morning, I saw an ad for a furniture place mixed in with the food store ads.  I had been admiring the sofas with the mixture of leather/pleather and fabric and the one featured was half the price of ‘R&F’. I asked Brian if we could go check it out and he agreed. I think we tried out 15 couches. Of course the ones with the recliners are nice, but we don’t have the room to have them open as we have a big coffee table which usually is home to the laptops. We did look at this first and sure enough, I went back to it. I figured if the back pillows got flat, I’d get some new pillow forms or make new pillows! The seat cushions are nice and firm. I love the Victorian look (I guess it’s close to that).

So then I said, let’s look at chairs. Brian went right to the recliners and we’ve had two now. I happen to see this:

It’s a pretty burgundy. Larry, our salesman, ran back up to the third floor to grab a pillow to see if it matched this-nice! It’s velour and hits your back in all the right spots.

The store was opened by Larry’s great grandfather in about 1902. It’s nice it’s been around so long! I know all the sales ploys-they show you the more expensive pieces, etc.  It’s funny I went back to the one in the ad! : )

We should get them in a few weeks-nice Christmas gift!

Smileys with Sean


It’s been a while since Sean an I went out to dinner. We had planned to go sneaker shopping first, but I mentioned The Olive Garden and he said yes. His night class had been cancelled as he thinks his professor’s wife was delivering their baby! : )

So we almost had the restaurant to ourselves and got the ‘endless’ pasta bowl special. He ordered two and brought most of the second serving home. I couldn’t finish the first one.

I mentioned there were a few geocaches right in the vicinity and he said, let’s go for it. With mapping being his planned occupation, I thought he’d be more interested, but he has a full plate right now. So we headed around the back of a Shop Rite. The cache was called ‘Taking Care of Business’ which is the store’s motto. His iPhone has an excellent GPS and it zoned in on a guard rail. I knew it was probably in the end where it curved and I saw it right away-it took him a bit longer.

Then we went to one that was off a turn on to a planned  entrance/road which abruptly ended and cement barriers were in place. I guess a planned shopping center never went in. We didn’t need it, I’ll take the farmland. So he is walking around and then finally he stops and says his GPS says ‘it’s here’. I look down and kick a stone or piece of asphalt out of the way, and there is the cammoed pill bottle. Ha ha! He is learning.

We hit Kohl’s for some awesome sales. I ‘saved’ more than I spent-really! Deep discounts on tops and summer stuff. I got some black FILA sneakers with an aqua trim. I have to toss the shape up ones. Also got brown leather shoes with top straps-I think Naturalizers. I suffer with my feet without proper footwear. These both are comfy. Sean got a few pairs of  sneakers for the same reason.

I feel good about tomorrow-it will be an earlier day than I am use to, but glad to have a job after 9 long months. I’ll let you know how it goes. And I may add photos to this post.

Wonderful finds


Here are some of the purchases I made yesterday. This ‘pop-up’ book was from the Metropolitan Museum of art and it was still in it’s plastic bag after 33 yrs!

Did I tell you I paid $1 for this reproduction from the late 1880s?

Pardon my knives, it has been folded up all those years. I think it was waiting for me. I have adored pop up books all my life.

Love the orchestra!

And this is a lovely book I purchased for $2

I have a few books based on Miss Holden, even a kit how to draw and do watercolor like she did. Haven’t tried to replicate her gorgeous work yet.

This is pretty neat. I’ll have to give you an example of  the meaning of a word sometime.

I got a number of children books at the HFH resale shop for a quarter each. The covers are pretty worn, but the inside illustrations are lovely.

Is that 1938?

Some of the above will probably be on my etsy shop. I’m getting my shops up and running soon.

Awesome vintage finds


I took some photos of my new stash from Friday. I am tickled with the framed photo trio and the big bag of vintage greeting cards! Good finds. I haven’t been feeling that great from being overly warm at night and I have been dragging during the day, so I enjoyed looking at these yesterday.

Here is sweet Irene:

I asked the Facebook gang if I should replace the mat as it’s just an ugly yellowed piece of paper. To have such a sweet photo shoot, the previous owner sure didn’t do this trio justice. Most said to replace it with a gray tone mat to go with the flow of the photos better. One artist said that your eye goes right to ugly yellowing paper. One said it gives it character. I may hold some of my pretty scrapbook papers to see. What do you think?

Then I found these interesting portraits, many from Lancaster, PA.

One had this stamp on the back-an old Ben Franklin. It’s damaged by maybe worth at least $5-more that a cent as it originally cost.

1930s McCall’s paper dolls (both sides of sleeve)

She’s so sweet

I found this little frog with the waterlily hat. He’s only about 2 inches high.

I’m still going through the bag of cards. Here’s a few I like so far:

and the inside….that name tickled me

And this one wasn’t even used:

Today I needed a change of scenery and we went to the Delaware Farmer’s market again. I was not thrilled with the produce today. Of course Friday produce will be better. I did go in a little ‘antique’ stall (mostly books and records-lps) but I had seen a little bisque bust similar to one my pal Carole has, but smaller. Last week it was marked $20, but they were going to lower it 5. This time around when I said could you do better the man said $12. I found her on eBay and she’s a Limoge look-alike and had a boy partner. She was about $35 on the site!

I told Brian we should have a stall like this and he went humph. : )

Geocaching on a whim and when you are tired don’t go hand in hand most times. We ‘almost’ looked for 4 today and only found 1. The one we found was at a train depot-one where you see scenic Delaware. Easy as pie. There was one in Pep Boys we couldn’t find as the GPS was bouncing between a guardrail and near the road-a busy road. One was a park and we didn’t feel like walking trails at 5:30 at night. We’ll have to go for a picnic sometime. The last one should have been easy, but my GPS went out and it involved some bushwacking. We went in the woods a bit, saw where someone had made a fire in there-close to a baseball field and the Police athletic building. No dice.

I thought this was interesting. At the place where I bought the bust, they had a 1939 NY World Fair book. The cover was almost off, but it had some great photos. They wanted $20 and I thought that was steep. When we got home, I asked my mom if someone in the family had been to that fair and she said she had! Will have to try and get the book cheaper for her next time.

First flower buying trip of the year


That maybe the only flower buying trip of the year! We had a few extra bucks from a winning scratch off ticket that Bri’s dad gave us ($40!), but spent lots more. I decided I’d better propagate the huge petunia plant I got with a mixture of pink lemonade and Picasso something petunias. I had Brian with me and he was loading up on green peppers and tomatoes plus the ones I got.
Anyway, we were there 1.5 hours and I am ready to get digging, though my left elbow is giving me a hard time (I have a stretchy thing on it in the photo).

That’s an example of the Pink Lemonade petunias near my head there! We filled up the Mariner.

We then went to a family restaurant close by near where Brian worked a few years back. I got at least 3 helpings of mashed potatoes and turkey in one! I brought half of it home.  Then we went to a little 5 and 10 style store and I got some fat quarters of fabric, a little flag and seeds.

The landscape is gorgeous in Lancaster as I have told you before. I didn’t bring my camera with me, but wish I did. We really saw a lot of Amish people and buggies yesterday!

It was a nice outing with my hubby.

Maryland’s Northern shores


Blog post 3,330!!

I just had Sean help me with the title of my post. He said that the Ocean City area is on the eastern shores.

Saturday we went downstairs at the inn to a nice quiche, fresh fruit and strained tea (I had to pick out tea and use a tea strainer-they sell a lot of it there at the inn) breakfast and headed to the town of Elkton. There wasn’t much going on, but we found a cute wedding chapel there to admire from the outside. Elkton was famous for being the place on the east coast where you could get married without a waiting period. My maternal grandparents Alan and Ruth got married there in 1921 at the ages of 20 and 18. My sister-in-law’s mom and dad got married there. I thought for sure we had found the chapel were my grandparents got married. When I got home I read the historic marker in my photo and the entire Main Street was dotted with chapels! So if they got married here, it was a hit or miss thing.
Wedding Chapel in Elkton, MD

Historic marker for Elkton, MD
I would have liked to see the Cecil County Historic Society, but we found out they are open only one Saturday a month and we missed it. There were ‘corner stones’ in the side yard, so I’m thinking they were just saved from demolitions and put here.
Cecil County house with historic society

Historic cornerstones of Elkton, MD buildings

I’m not surprised by this:
George Washington traveled through Elkton, Md

This was interesting too:
Historic marker for Mitchell house in Elkton, MD

Mitchell House in Elkton, MD

I bought a lovely handmade purple beaded necklace with an ‘silver’ loop that had an Irish saying on it from a shop in Elkton to remember that I visited here and that I just found out how Irish I was with my DNA test!

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart might desire.”
– Irish Blessing

Our next stop was Chesapeake City where we grabbed a bite in a place called The Bohemia Cafe. The area use to be called that and I’m pretty sure my Mom-mom Ruth’s 1st cousin had a house in the general area. I loved this little area! The homes were so quaint. The vision of the steel bridge over their roof mixed old with new.
Modern bridge, historic homes

This was a gift shop, but they kept the original store’s wording.
Use to be  grocery/hardware store-now gift shop

This use to be the town bank-another gift shop! The boats can dock and come to town and shop a bit.
Old Chesapeake City Bank, now gift shop

Bridge and Bay

Road to the Chesapeake Bay

Easter is near!
Easter decorations in Chesapeake City

The lady in the above ‘bank’ shop said North East was a nice little town, so we headed down to there. I didn’t take photos here. We went in a few shops and a really neat antique place-it sold other things too, like some Phillies baseball t-shirts that I had picked out of a case and the lady forgot to ring them up! I got a clear glass Easter egg that is etched with violets for mom, a trio of Snowbaby Bunnies and a water pitcher. We’ll have to ride down in a few weeks to actually buy the shirts.
Our next stop was Port Deposit, a little town right up smack up to the Susquehanna River. We didn’t see the restaurant we were looking for, but again, it’s not that far and we can drive down some other time. The restaurant was a Colonial style one.
It was raining, but I at least got a shot of the town clock!
Port Deposit, MD town clock

They had terrible flooding there last summer and you can tell that they are still recovering. We did notice some newer townhouses right on the river. Guess they were built to withstand flooding.
We headed down the road, less than a mile to the Hollywood Casino. We had driven by here several times and we thought we’d try our luck with $20 and leave. There were 1 and 2 cent machines-you put $1 in and it gave you 90 bids with one push of the button. We never came close to winning, so we left, true to our promise, about 1/2 hour later.
I had a $20 postcard gift card I had gotten in the mail for a place in Newark, DE. You had to go on your birthday, so we went there and I guess we broke even doing that! We had pasta dishes and I had their trademark gelato. You know when things ‘bug’ you about a place and you just need to complain? Well they had coarse pepper in a shaker with little holes-we unscrewed the lid to get to the pepper. I told the waitress. Then at the end of the meal, I used the restroom and there was a squooshed roach on the floor. Our waitress happen to be going by and I pointed it out. She went in and got it up with a piece of tissue!  Hope she washed her hands. I guess she was told to watch for them? She was a bit snooty with me saying we’ll take care of that and the pepper shaker. She had just gotten a good tip on the full cost of the meal, not with the $20 taken off! It was a pretty place and the manager ran out and put more quarters in the meter for us. Too bad I had to see the last thing.  We walked around this town. Sean goes here to a few bars once in a while. I found a bookstore and got a few good reads for $5. We headed back to the hotel and they had a small wedding reception going on in the conservatory. They were singing a bit and having fun, but not enough to really bother us.
On Sunday we headed home a little before 11 am and went to church. It was great to go away with the birthday boy. I love to learn about towns and see their historic homes and museums. I hope to keep venturing further away in all directions in the future.

Getting around NYC


I’ve not been vegetating here, well maybe a little. We’ve been trying to get ourselves on our regular schedule again as a few days away can mess up your system. Brian’s dad was suffering with his right leg so much, Brian took him to the ER on Monday. They said it looks like arthritis to them. He’s going to get to the point where he won’t be able to get around or drive-your right leg is important for that. I think the next few months will be very telling in what the future will be for Brian’s dad. We all have to face this I guess.
Yesterday Sean took me out for pizza and I headed across the street to Kmart to get plastic boxes. There must have been a dozen or more racks with the sign ‘$5.99′ displayed for nice things like corduroys, Jaclyn Smith items (I got a $79.99 jacket for $5.99), Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) items. I bought several pieces and tried some on that just fit too snuggly, so they are going back shortly.
We got home from New York late on Sunday, after 8:30 pm. We arrived about 2 pm on Friday, grabbed lunch at an Olive Garden and then got on the bus to the city around 4:30 pm. Repeat this, never take a bus to NYC between 4-7 pm on a Friday. A 15-20 minute ride took 1 hour and 15 minutes. There were 4 of us on this huge NJ transit bus. The one problem with that is I saw dozens of near empty buses-so that made more traffic. We were punchy when we got off the bus and found our way through the bus station. We got outside and it was raining and very crowded. Silly me thought Sean knew his way to the hotel where his GIS conference was-he didn’t. It had been almost 5 years since we were there to boot. Sean was like a deer in headlights and didn’t know where to go! A cop directed us to the Hilton in Times Square-nope, we needed the one near Rockefeller Center. So we walked a block or so out of the congestion and hailed a cab-got us to the Hilton, he signed in and then we headed across the street to the Museum of Modern art (MoMA) as it was free on Friday nights between 4-7! And it too was crowded. I love art and got to see so many masters’ work like Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso,Matisse, Gauguin, etc. Here is Monet’s Agapanthus
Dianne with Monet's "Agapanthus" at MoMA
There are two of these large murals by Monet which took him 4-5 years to finish:
One of two of Monet's large Waterlilies murals
I was thrilled to see ‘Starry Nights’ by Van Gogh:
Van Gogh's Starry Night
We didn’t get to see Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell soup cans or Jasper James Flag-some other time.
We then headed to the Rockefeller Center area. It was raining off and on, so we were glad to have umbrellas. Unfortunately the bottoms of our pants and shoes got very wet.
I thought this was cute of Sean near Radio City Music Hall.
Sean walking in the rain near Radio City Music Hall
We then saw this pretty area.

Prometheus lit by colorful lights 

Rockefeller ice skating
We asked the young lady guard in the concourse, under this area where we could eat and she suggested Billy’s Burgers. So we headed there where Sean enjoyed a large turkey club (yes, he blew Lent) and Brian and I had shrimp burgers, though we messed up for Lent in Olive Garden earlier.
We walked along and saw the following:
Today show NBC center
Set from Today Show
Chase Bank fountain
Chase Bank
Sign for Elizabeth Taylor auction
Window of Christie’s Auction showing the Elizabeth Taylor auction (I think one took place already and they sold one of her Van Gogh’s)
We ended up back in Time’s Square-we walked many blocks too.
Dianne and Brian in Times Square
Sean would go here Saturday night
Ripley's Believe it or Not in Times Square
And we stopped and bought cupcakes to eat later-Sean had a toasted coconut and I had a white chocolate and Brian a Chocolate Snowball. I thank them for showing the calorie count (about 1/3 of your daily intake if you are a lady on a diet-oy).
Crumbs cupcakes in Times Square
And yes, they were yummy.
I’ll talk about the next few days in different posts.

Seasonal help I bid you adieu


Today I went down to my mom’s house to spend some time with her and take her out to lunch. We went to the local mall and Carrabba’s wasn’t open for lunch! We had to eat somewhere else which was less than satisfactory. We decided to check out the sale stuff at Macy’s and they had such cute stuff for 75% off. I got some adorable mushrooms and gnomes. I will add some to my window display as it’s not just Christmas, it’s a winter themed one. My mom has that eye issue and broke a few of them at the store. Also got a few clothes for cheap. I mainly get my clothes when they are on sale at a deep discount and from Macy’s, Kohl’s, Boscov’s and Pee*bles….

…who I don’t work for anymore. I figured that when he only scheduled me for 9 hours this week and it’s been slow as molasses there. I hate to be bored. The last night I was there, I wiped down most of the shelving in the gift department, and let me tell you, it hadn’t been done for a while. I couldn’t tidy up another rack of clothes that night, so I did that.  I made some money, got awesome discounts that not only helped us, but my mom at Christmas. I walked in there tonight to check the schedule and I wasn’t on it. Then the manager came around the corner and said he was going to call me later. Yeah, right. Why didn’t he just tell me a few days ago? I said I understood and I was glad to get the experience and I sure learned about retail again.  So that’s that. Not sure if I’ll go back in November, depends on what I’ll be doing in November.

A little bit ago, I opened my email and there was a note from that stated a lady nearby was interested in  for babysitting. Only it’s 4 days a week, also toddlers. The mom has an at home business and needs someone there. I’m thinking 2-3 days and not all day as I have my own house to take care of. Plus I’m thinking kid germs.  But the money is good!  What to do?

And my art is calling out to me. I’ve only been a little crafty lately. A store up in the next town sells mostly mushroom related stuff and back in November the owner said she’d take a look at crafty stuff from me.  Lots of possibilities.

My poor back was starting to really complain-even driving to mom’s and back made it bother me. It was sure time to stop being on my feet hours on end.

So now I will be taking my Christmas stuff down and will clean like crazy. Working made me appreciate my home a lot more.