Hanging Around – Round 2

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! With how much I’ve been doing with him and the civil rights movement at school, I feel kind of guilty that I’m sitting finally writing a blog post while the baby naps rather than going out to honor his memory with some duty-filled action. Well, he’s with me in thought, at least. Is anyone out there filling their karma bucket with all sorts of humanity-oriented activities today?

The last time we hung (hanged?) something on the bathroom walls, there was cursing. There was disappointment. There was anger. Knowing this, my hopes were low and my defenses were up when we finally got around to installing our floating wall shelves.


I was fearful, first, that the shelves would look disproportionate in our tiny potty room. Spoiler alert: They turned out to be the perfect size for our needs. Secondly, when it comes to an item that needs to be level, picture me sweating bullets — especially in this notoriously uneven house. Again, things worked out for the best.

Miracle of miracles!

Here’s how these things work —

1) Hold up the shelf to get an idea of where you’d like it to go. We lightly marked the wall (top and sides) with a pencil. (I erased these marks after we marked for the anchors.)

 

2) Mark and drill spots for the support and anchors to go. I love that anchors exist, but Dave HATES them — and with good reason. The directions often say to use a particular size drill bit, but 9 times out of 10 when you start to hammer it in, the hole’s too small. This time, we were missing the bit they suggested to use, so he used a smaller size and kind of hollowed out the hole to make it the right size. While I wouldn’t advise this method, it worked fine.


3) Hammer anchors into wall. Hold up the support bracket and drill into anchors. There are actually more holes to use than screws, but as long as you don’t put all the screws on one side (um, duh? I know you guys are smarter than that…right?), you’re golden.

 

4) Slide the shelf onto the bracket and drill the the two screws in to attach it to the bracket. You can either have the screws facing upward (so nobody sees them) or downward, depending on your need. I did the bottom one downward since no one would really see it, and the top one facing the ceiling since it would’ve stuck out like a sore thumb.


And, by all means, if you can get a trained professional to oversee, please do.
Ours is named Winston.


Aaaaahhh!!! Beauteous!


5) Load stuff on and style it to your heart’s content. I’m sure I’ll adjust this a million more times, but for now it’s so nice to have the additional storage back (we used to use a run-of-the-mill over-the-toilet storage unit, but I’d dreamed — yes, literally dreamed — of having something more modern and open like this forever) and fun accessories to play with.

Thar’s Q-tips in them thar mercury glass.

Yep, the hubs really and truly uses an old-school double razor thingamabob.
With a boar’s hair brush.

I love that guy!

I moved in one of my all-time favorite cheap-o DIY art pieces. Old game numbers (antique shop) + unused matted frame + glue (+ burlap, if needed) = vintage-y art.

More vintage with that turquoise blue side-bottle.

While we’re at it, I thought I’d show the shower curtain that I finally put up. I kept my previous white one (it’s not in the best of shape thanks to a cat claw or two, but it IS white) in case it’s advised that we tone it down when we one day sell the house. But, for now, the punch of fun, bohemian color makes me happy. Plus, it makes the space go from boring tan-and-white to something more special and “us.” Unfortunately, I also realized that the color in the painting that I made was a tad too pink to coordinate well, so after trying to glaze some deeper orange into it (it’s better…but that’s a hard frickin’ orange to match!), I think I may go with something simpler.


I do love it, though!

So, all I really have left in this room is to figure out a window treatment, then attack the shower surround. For now, we’ll just keep the shower curtain drawn and assume it’s finished. *wink*

It’s funny how it has taken so long to git ‘er done, but once I finally picked up steam, it came quickly. That being said, I’ve got some more painting/fixing-up to start in a couple of other rooms soon, too. Is anyone else full-steam-ahead on any projects?

First Family Trip

Over the Columbus Day weekend (yes, I’m that behind on things), we finally tested the waters and took our first overnight family trip with Mr. Hadley, now 15 months old. We took a trip to Massachusetts over the summer, but this was the first just-the-three-of-us “let’s see if we can have fun far away from home” trip. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say it was an 8…to 9…depending on how optimistic I’m feeling. 😉

The best part (and what made it, I thought, easier) was that we returned to Vermont — where we had our honeymoon and first anniversary trips. We stayed at the familiar Middlebury Inn. We walked around familiar Middlebury and drove the familiar roads that took us to familiar antiques shops. We stopped for a familiar romp around the Bennington Monument (although we’d never ran circles around the green before…thank you, toddler energy!).

But, it wasn’t a boring trip, by any means. Everything is so new through the eyes of a toddler, and the surreality of being places that we once casually spent hours eating at or were able to peruse without tiny, jutting hands grabbing things from shelves…it was kinda neat. And a little nerve-wracking. But, we accepted that this was how the trip would be, and we admittedly loved every minute of it.


Since it was Parents’ Weekend at Middlebury College, we could only book the Sunday into Monday (fine by us). We arrived in VT early after a pretty uneventful trip (hooray for naptime!), let the folks at the Inn know that we were early, then sauntered over to one of our favorite places on Earth: the Middlebury Co-Op. We’ve been there a few times and love it more each time. There’s cast-off (perfectly fine) soap from a local natural soap company that we stock up on (literally purchase pounds of the stuff in varying scents). Dave ogles the grind-it-yourself coffee. I love finding a vast selection of items I’ve only heard about online, often shouting with unabashed excitement to Dave two rows over. And, for it being one of his least favorite activities, Hadley did pretty well being carted through the aisles. (Key here: Constant motion.)

We purchased a lunch from the place (they have prepared food, too…woohoo!) at which time the antsy-pants took command, so we pretty much took turns watching him. Dave also walked the half-block to the car to store our treasures; Hadley made his acquaintance with several strangers sitting at the picnic tables outside the store, which made me realize that his social streak causes Dave and I to be far friendlier and more outgoing than we normally might be. Y’know, comparable to a puppy.

We then checked in for realsies, rode a “real live OLD SCHOOL elevator” with a teen to operate it, dropped off our stuff, (had the Pack ‘n Play delivered and set up since it had been forgotten; the only small glitch), and headed to the lobby for Dave’s favorite — afternoon tea.

They also have yummy pastries and cookies, so we loaded up a plate and brought our tea (and Hadley’s sippy cup o’ juice) to the “veranda” to watch the quaint traffic and enjoy a moment. Dave was in his glory, as my mother would say, and Hadley was a very good boy…since he was getting tastes of chocolate or lemon cookies, a huge treat.

Dave’s look during tea? Pensive. Pensive. And pensive. (He DOES enjoy it VERY much…believe me!)

We then went for a stroll around town. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday and heading for after 4, most of the stores were closed, but we still enjoyed our walk. I had hoped that Hadley would sleep for a little while in the stroller, to no avail. We then headed back to the Inn to get ready for our 5:30 reservation. Dave was already talking about the cheese plate, which we always order (for whatever reason). I was preparing myself mentally for a hadn’t-napped-sized meltdown from the munchkin.

I was pleased that our timing seemed to avoid any big rush (you never know when people will eat dinner, do you?) so that we’d be disturbing minimal guests with our noisy boy. He ate pouches, and tastes of my pork and the most delicious braised cabbage and whipped sweet potatoes I’d ever tasted. He ate cheese of his own while we feasted on our cheese plate (all goat this time, strangely; usually there’s at least one Cabot since the factory is on the outskirts of town). He played and hammered his hands and utensils on the table and caused a general ruckus, much to our disappointment, but the other guests seemed very forgiving and our hostess kept assuring us that he was very well-behaved and sweet and “nobody minds a bit, he’s so cute!”

We finally decided that, while dinner had been nice, it was time for Hadman to have a bath and get ready for bed (even if it was a bit earlier than usual), so Dave stayed to pay the bill (and get a couple of creme brulees to bring up to our room — I married a keeper, ladies!).

(Looked horrific dumped into a to-go container, but tasted lovely!)

We usually bathe Hadley in the kitchen sink, so this was his second tub experience. I let him play to his heart’s content, then run around the connected rooms (we had our own separate bedroom attached to a kind of living room, where his Pack ‘n Play was set up) before finally calming down, reading a book, and settling down for the night. Dave and I watched crappy cable and read magazines and books, and talked about how much we missed the cats. It was awesome.

The baby awoke far too early the next morning, but we weren’t ready to get up yet, so I brought him in the fluffy bed with us — where he immediately conked out. He has a weakness for comfy pillows, I suppose.

I got ready early and played with the munchkin (and got him ready) while Dave took a shower. We packed up and Dave loaded up the car while Hadley and I tore through the large lobby. (Okay, I didn’t tear through it, but he did…and I came tumbling after.) I finally realized there were a butt load of Morgan horse pictures (they were first bred here! And my niece’s name is Morgan, so what’s better than that?) adorning the walls, so we went from one to the next, pointing and “oofing.” (All animals say “oof”…or is that just what the cool kids are doing?) Daddy came back and we found a short line waiting for the Inn’s delicious breakfast — which made our nerves immediately spike.

With just two or three other tables of folks the night before, we were confident. With an entire dining room full this morning, we felt dead in the water. “Will. He. BEHAVE?!” we both silently wondered. Luckily, they were gracious enough to seat us at a HUGE table in the corner (near windows, though — we didn’t feel relegated to the dungeon) so Hadley could discover his table manners in relative privacy. The huge room, however, was eerily silent (what, were people whispering or just not talking to their spouses?! C’mon, can’t SOMEONE have a public spat??), so every little noise he made echoed. Eh, ya win some, ya lose some.

I had been dreaming of the couldn’t-be-more-perfect waffles for years (they’re the reason I bought a Belgian waffle maker…and still haven’t been able to find the “taste,” so quit trying), so I made a plate with extras for the munchkin of waffles, bacon (just a bit), eggs (which he loves), and some yogurt. Man, those waffles were as awesome as I remembered. We filled our stomachs and the baby let us know that he was ready to go. Off into the perfectly drizzly autumn day for some driving and antique stops.

We only stopped at two antique shops along the way — one run by a kind older man with a friendly pup who follows you around the store, and the other (Branford House Antiques) where we had befriended the owners and purchased a sidebar on our honeymoon. BOTH had “For Sale” signs plopped unapologetically on their front lawns. *pout* I suppose this is the end of an era.

Purchases were kept at a minimum: I grabbed a $10 wooden crate (wicked price, whether it’s an antique or not) and Dave bought an Art Deco lighter to adorn his office at work. Relatively cheap, and no regrets of over-purchasing. Win-win!

We DID over-buy at The Chocolate Barn in Shaftsbury. Maple candy, people! And handmade chocolates!! Great for gifts, and for a lil’ treat. Needless to say, ours were gone in under a week. I think that’s a new record.

And, finally, we stopped in Bennington. It was past our usual lunch by this point (we gave the baby an organic pouch at one stop, but he’s a ravenous lunatic when he hasn’t eaten…like his mama), so we were incredibly lucky to find a little cafe with awesome local food and drinks still open. A sandwich that was killed by how much spicy mustard it contained and more butternut squash soup for me (I’d had some at the Inn the night before that tasted like the best soup I’d ever had…ever), a grilled cheese sandwich for the monkey, and I can’t for the life of me remember what Dave got…maybe panini. Or something. Definitely coffee.
After our late lunch, we went to the Bennington Monument that we’ve been visiting since well before we got engaged and took some new pictures next to our buddies — a statue and a random plywood militia man. Hadley also socialized with anyone he could get close enough to and ran around like a fool. It was awesome.

Yeah. I know. Too awesome for words.


Here we have the last leg of our trip: a stop by Camelot Village (just outside Bennington). This is where things went a tad South. Hadley could’ve easily taken more outside energy-using activity, but instead we brought him into a huge venue full of breakable antiques. Stupid grown-ups. He wanted to touch EVERYTHING and started (predictably) whining and screaming when we picked him up. The stroller wouldn’t have fit through the aisles, either, so he was “on the loose” (I wish I had brought my Ergo, but I’m not sure he would’ve been contained). So, we went to the surrounding areas only to discover that things had changed (for the worse), finally deciding that I’d stay in the car with the monkey while Dave perused the antiques quickly. When he was done (and the baby was asleep), I took a quick walk through. Neither of us found anything worthwhile (or priced well enough to want), so we left empty-handed and happy to be heading home.

The rest of the trip took a couple of hours, so we got home in time to feed the annoyed, ravenous, yet strangely happy cats — it was clear that they had missed their boy, and it warms my heart to think of how affectionate they were when they saw us. They’re usually quite friendly little creatures, but the love that poured out for Hadley was just so darn evident.

While we headed back to work and normalcy the next day, I remain very glad that we took the leap into travel with our little man. We once made a list, while heading home from our honeymoon, of goals to maintain in our relationship and life. One that has stuck out stronger than any others was this: “When we one day have children, we will accept them into our lives, not completely change to suit the children.”

Of course, we knew that LIFE would change with a child (and we expected that when we wrote it), but what we meant — that we still wanted to have adventures, that we wanted to keep searching local, organic and healthier eating options, that we still wanted to go antiquing and history-hunting and the dozens of other things that we like to do — was ultimately that we want to share all those things with our young ones. We also want to acclimate them to a change in routine, the idea that the world does not revolve around their beautiful little noggins (well, the one noggin, for now – ha!), that certain behavior is expected in certain places, and, mostly, that there’s a great big world out there for them to discover, enjoy, and take advantage of.

And I think we’re on our way.

Goodwill Friday

For much of my life, I shopped and dropped (left items) at our local Salvation Army. Mind you, I was mostly there to find a costume for high school musicals and, now, community theater productions. Heck, it’s where I picked up most of the furniture that I’ve got on my reupholstery to-do list. Then, one day, I found our local Goodwill.

It’s so close I could walk a few blocks and actually get some exercise – but what if I find a piece of furniture? It’s not in the greatest of areas, so picture me lugging home a random side table, wrestling with my super-cute purse (secretly hoping not to get mugged) walking past one of the busier drug intersections in the area. Side note: Strangely enough, it’s also within eye shot of the police department AND a jail…isn’t it weird how that happens? One stop service, I suppose.

The thing about Goodwill is that you’ll find items that are often seconds from stores; hence, some of the clothing, furniture, shoes, decor, etc are brand spankin’ new. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even glance at the shoes. But, when you see an original tag? Why not!? Not to say that everything’s new; some stuff is slightly damaged, while still more is donated.

While it’s another great place to search for costumes, I also find the prices on furniture to be a bit steep (really? I guess that term is relative); this is one area that I prefer Sally Ann’s. (God, why do I still CALL it that high school-ish name? It’s like saying “Tarjay” for Target. Only moms do that.) I guess I’ve come to look at a piece of furniture as reasonably priced when I can take two pieces out to my car for less than $20 – and it’s made of solid wood. Although if I could’ve found a use for two awesome bamboo stools I saw at Goodwill today…eh, too bad.

So, at the end of this truly trying week, I decided to give myself a chance for a shopping spree…yes, at Goodwill. I glanced at the clothes (I’m Elaine in “Arsenic and Old Lace” – any ideas?!), found nothing to my liking in the furniture, and even ridiculed some of the Halloween decorations…but, upon further glance, found inspiration in the home goods section. Come along for a look-see.

On a side note, I’ve been greatly inspired by some decor blogs lately that revolve around women who are either passionate or have found their life callings in using antiques and various vintage items (grain sacks, anyone?) in decor applications. It has definitely allowed me to open my eyes better to what my searching of thrift stores, antique shops, and (dare I even CONSIDER becoming such a person?) yard/garage sales. So, those are the glasses that I wore while sifting through the stacks o’ crap.

DSC02846
First, we have some frames. While the pictures in them are pretty white bread (except for the square one on the bottom…that’s pretty rad, but in real life is way cheaper than it looks), I’ve been needing some interesting SMALLER frames to work on a wall collage. Let’s just say we’re dying to do a wall collage – wait, edit that – I’m dying to do a wall collage and Dave’s dying to get stuff hung (I’m not sure he knows what a wall collage is…except maybe for the wall of theater art we’ve got hanging on our up-the-stairs wall). So, needless to say, these neat, small-ish frames will do the trick to offset the larger, personalized hangings we’ve got on hand. Oh, and the two on the right were $.99 each while the two on the left were $4.99 each. I normally wouldn’t spend $5 a piece, but I need some roundness to end the corner competition being put forth by all of my square and rectangular pieces.

DSC02847These are kind of more modern than I’d like to collect, but a) they were $.99 each, b) with a price like that, we can use them regularly and I won’t cry when they break (unlike my 1960s astronaut plates…*sniff, sniff*), and c) they’re made in England, true-to-life Ironstone. Obsessed. ‘Nuff said. Can’t wait to get more Ironstone!

DSC02853Hee hee…is it horrible that I didn’t realize until I got home that this whole piece is Japanese, from where it’s made to the scene that’s depicted on it? That must be okay, right? Well, it cost $.99 (running theme?) and is a heavy sucker, AND has charm to boot. Plus, it must be helping my karma after all the Japanese folks my grandpa killed, right? RIGHT?!

DSC02854This guy’s just dang cute. And kitschy. And has spots for pencils/pens and note cards. I’m considering cleaning him up a bit and trying my hand at Etsy, given the fact that he’s got kitsch and style coming out the wazoo…which, incidentally, isn’t a word.

DSC02857The small red lantern is real, and adds a burst of color to our kitchen. As you can see by the background, we’ve done some painting in this room – but I’ll share more of that when I can finally say that “Paint the kitchen” is 100% off the to-do list. Currently, working on the rest of the semi-gloss whiteness.

DSC02863 And this wouldn’t be a post by moi without gratuitous kitty pictures. Sooooo, here’s Winston checking out my goodies. He and Jasper couldn’t get enough of the interesting smells coming forth from the plastic bags (we reuse plastic bags in this house, and don’t get any when grocery shopping, so don’t worry…this was still a green endeavor…especially given that I bought locally AND am reusing old goods). Or perhaps he has a taste for old stuff. Given that he’s probably our “gay kitty”, he’s probably just got a good eye for fabulous finds.

DSC02864Speaking of Jasper…here he is perusing my deals. Seriously, he truly appears to be giving a show of approval for my $.99 stickers. Thanks, lil’ buddy!

My total for this Friday shopping spree? $21.56 (under $19 before tax), which averages to just over $2 an item. (Of course, that’s not really how it averages…let’s just say that some were better deals than others and leave it at that.) But, doesn’t it give you a shot of confidence when you find beautiful things (or things that will BE beautiful…eventually) for such crazy prices?

So, how far will you go for a bargain? Do you thrift? Are there particular stores that you prefer? Or are you more of an antiquer (I love made-up verbs!), or couponer? Or a *gulp* Walmart shopper? Hey, whatever ya gotsta do to keep in the black! And while we’re on the topic, what do you do when you feel deserving of a splurge? Retail therapy? Or is it more along the lines of chocolatechocolatechocolate? (Yes, I said chocolate thrice…and without spaces. If you’re a girl, you get it.)

Mantle with no Fireplace

I’ve dreamed of owning a house in which I could build a fire practically my whole life. Sure, I could do this unsafely without a fireplace and chimney, but I can’t even convince my husband that a fire pit in the backyard would be safe. He’s no fun.

So, while our current 90-year-old house isn’t the house for my stupid smokey dream, we found a way to enjoy a small version of a mantle without the help of a contractor…or any construction beyond the use of a drill, for that matter.

Dr. Oz, if you’re wondering.

This is the wall that we stare at most. It’s above our slightly-turned TV (classic, no? No sexy flat screens for us), so the twig-and-faux-berry wreath that was hanging there simply filled the space. Didn’t do anything other than add a bit of crimson and texture to the wall, really.

But, with the help of this Christmas Tree Shoppe wall shelf (I believe less than $20), I had envisioned a way to add some architectural detail (whose shape, incidentally, mimics the tops of the doorways throughout the house) and place some art. I can even consider creating some “mantlescapes” to change seasonally.

It took lots of measuring, and 2, count ’em 2 extra holes (hidden behind the ledge, thank goodness), and I’m still not quite sure it’s level (even if I had had a level at hand, it wouldn’t have mattered; we’ve got that crooked house from the nursery rhyme), but it’s an improvement.

While we’re at it, I thought I’d share a couple of cheap art projects that I’ve already started shuffling around the “mantle”.

The first is actually pretty darn near free, and you can see it above. I’ve been piling up some frames that have outgrown their pictures for some time, and this is one of those cases. Funky, weird textured frame (looking almost tropical…how did this thing end up in our house?) + muslin fabric I’ve had lying around + fabric glue from another project + the perfect antique key that I thiiiink I found some place = free art! For now, it doesn’t have a wall hanger on its back, but it’ll do.

The other piece cost $3…plus tax. I had seen pieces like it on the interwebs, so once I dug up the tiny bags of Bingo buttons at an antique store this past weekend (in Concord, Mass. – more on that later!), I knew immediately what to try with them.
The Concord antiques shop that hooked us up, big-time. Anyone get why it’s got the punny name?
Using a double-matted frame with no paper background (the texture and color of the frame’s backing always interested me), I glued the numbered wooden buttons directly on, finally putting the glass back and letting it dry for at least an hour before setting it on the “mantle”.
Can’t do any project without a cat nearby. Glad to have the Winston stamp of approval.
What I love most about these pieces, besides the cost, is the modern vibe that you can find, even from old objects. An old key. Old Bingo buttons – seriously? I love antiquing, whether I’m “good” at it or even consistent (I do it when it’s an option, I’ve got time, and the mood strikes me), and especially love getting pieces while out of town. Hey! Come to think of it, every time I look at my sideboard, I think of how we found and purchased it during our honeymoon. And now I’ll think of our mini-vacation to Boston when I look at the Bingo art that I now looooove.

Anyone here into antiques? Or are you a strictly “new stuff” sort of person? Eclectic, like moi? Do tell!

Inside the Honeymoon: Final Edition

“So…what’d you do?” “Did you do anything fun?” “How was it?” I assume when people ask these questions about our honeymoon, they’re actually, genuinely wondering about our escapades while there. (I usually have a pretty dirty mind, but when it comes to Dave and I, we don’t divulge a s-i-n-g-l-e thing; we’re pure as the driven snow…which never made much sense to me — once you drive on snow, it’s not so pure anymore, is it? Great, now I’ll have to look up the origin of that saying.)

It sounds pretty bad, what with my only being *gulp* 28, and it only being about a month post-honeymoon, but I’m starting to forget what we did! It seems like SO long ago!! Life has a way of sneaking up on you and stealing precious memories and moments. So, what you’ll see is what I can recall. 🙂

A lot about our wedding bucked convention, and I LOVE that. When people said something wouldn’t work, I tried not to let it get me down. Sure, my thoughts were running until I just decided to relax and have fun… “Will they really USE the Flip cam?” “Will the pie cut as well as a cake?” “Will the vintage car show up at the right time?” “Will we actually have time to eat and enjoy our food — seriously?” and, most importantly in MY worrisome mind, “Will the ‘father/daughter dance’ alternative work??” And, of course, it all worked just fine. Better than fine.

One thing that EVERYONE was 100% correct about, though? We. Were. Exhausted. Nevermind the champagne and other…*ahem*…”libations” we thoroughly enjoyed with our awesome friends. That night, I had to run to my mom’s house to pick up lots of the “oops, I forgot several important toiletries…and my toothbrush and brush…” items, which I didn’t expect to have to do, and by the time I got home it seemed like bedtime. Regardless, we stayed up opening presents, crying, reading cards, crying, jotting down who gave what, being touched to more tears…get the point? Oh, and throw in a heavy dose of spoiling Beardslee, who knew something was up — and that we were overflowing with guilt about leaving him for more than a day. Granted, we had my mom and sis, who are Class “A” spoilers, watching over him, but it was a bit step for us.

So, it took a little while to leave on Sunday, but we weren’t in a hurry. (Heck, we were early and had to wait for our room, after all.) Here we are saying ‘bye to the kid…

Face nudges. Daddy’s feeling SOOOOO guilty for leaving.

…and Mommy giving some loving. Doesn’t he have a
suspicious look? “Tell me why you have your coat on.”

We finally left, after packing and grabbing some snacks, and had a VERY fun trip to Vermont. We decided to take the scenic route after a suggestion from my parents, driving through the back roads of Central New York all the way there. It was a perfectly gorgeous day and we gained a huge appreciation for some of the small towns in the area — we didn’t realize how historic and, at the same time, modern some of the small cities and towns are. Definitely worth a day trip or two!

When we reached Middlebury, Dave noticed he was having phone problems. Soooo…

“Hi, Verizon. I’m on my honeymoon, and…”
After discovering that our room wasn’t yet ready, we went for a walk around Middlebury. While there was a lot about the town to admire, we loved the cafe and, especially, their community theater — which had recently ended a special showing of Christopher Lloyd in “Death of a Salesman”. Of course, we sneaked in and stole tons of pictures of their recently-renovated building — gorgeous and classy, just what we’d like for ILTC.


The next day, we aimed our Sportage in the direction of Burlington (ie north). Along the way, we stopped in at the Middlebury Co-Op, which you can read more about here, and the famous Magic Hat Brewery. Of course, you’ve gotta taste what the locals have to offer.

After a day of LOTS of shopping and walking, we headed “home” to Middlebury. The city was hard to describe. I liked it, of course; lots of green initiatives and Vermont Fresh Network eateries from which to choose…but I can’t put my finger on a decisive description of the place itself. Perhaps I’d need to visit more than what we saw, like down by the lake.

So, after getting a good feel for Middlebury and Burlington, it was time to head down south and, alas, back home. But, along the way we had plenty of time to stop to look at antiques and check out other local shops. Here’s some of the fun we had…

The traditional “Antiquing in VT” uniform…
who knows whose head that was on!
…eeeewwwwww.
As Mom would say, I’m “in my glory.”
First person to leave a message as to the TRUE reason
I NEEDED a picture of this wins a prize. 🙂
Anyone? Anyone?
My guy can read!
Practicing his anchorman skills.
aka HEAVEN ON EARTH!!!
You MUST visit here! The couple is awesome.
Their stuff is incredible. It’s home.

One reason we loved Branford Antiques? This baby…
now residing in our dining room (sans Victrola speakers).
So, this ends our tour of Vermont. We love going, so I presume we’ll have many future trips here…and Massachusetts…and Maine…and Philadelphia…and, of course, NYC…and Toronto…and Europe…and….

Side note: As pure as the driven snow

Meaning Entirely pure.

Origin

‘Driven snow’ is snow that has blown into drifts and is untrodded and clean. Examples of the precise text ‘as pure as [the] driven snow’ aren’t found in print until around the start of the 19th century; nevetheless, we have to thank Shakespeare for this popular simile. The complete phrase ‘as pure as the driven snow’ doesn’t appear in Shakespeare’s writing, but it almost does, and he used snow as a symbol for purity and whiteness in several plays. In The Winter’s Tale, 1611:

Autolycus: Lawn as white as driven snow.
In Macbeth, 1605:
Malcolm: Black Macbeth will seem as pure as snow.
Of course, the tradition of brides wearing white in many cultures stems from the association between the colour and purity. This was referred to as early as the 1400s, as in John Lydgate’s poetry for example, circa 1435:
Alle cladde in white, in tokne off clennesse, Lyche pure virgynes.
An alternative derivation of this simile has been proposed, which originates from an altogether different source. Mediaeval tanners used animal faeces in the leather tanning process – specifically dogs’ droppings, to which they gave the incongruous name ‘pure’. Some have speculated that pure referred to the white form of the said stools that used to be more commonly seen and that ‘as pure as the driven snow’ comes from that association. It doesn’t; the ‘pure’ name came from the purification of the raw leather caused by the enzymes present in the excrement and has nothing to do the ‘as pure as driven snow’.

(Obtained from The Phrase Finder, http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/as-pure-as-the-driven-snow.html)