Friday, July 13, 2018

Field trip to the sunflowers

 We had a little break in the weather, so we took the kids to the Columbia bottom conservation area.  They have planted thousands of sunflowers there and it was GORGEOUS!






 You can also see the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers here.
 Then we had a yummy lunch at the whole scoop in grafton.

 And rode the grafton ferry back to Missouri.  (The kids had never been on the ferry before somehow!)
A very nice little impromptu trip indeed.

Now I am off to screaming children in the back yard. (PLEASE GOD LET THE BUSES COME SOON.)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Flea market finds

 We were up early for the flea this week and then quickly discovered my van was dead in the driveway.   That delayed us a bit, but we did eventually make it.  I wore my lucky shirt and it paid off!

2 new tablecloths, a feedsack, an old box of sewing attachments, and an old easter toy.
 We were on the way out when I spotted this map wadded up under some sparkly new clothes. I had heard of escape maps before but I had never managed to find one.  This one happened to cost me exactly as much money as I had left in my pocket. Its a 1950 cold war escape map on rayon.
Complete with a star chart! One of my coolest finds in a VERY long time!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Grant reads!

 Grant has been super keen on learning how to read for awhile.  I occasionally run through some flash cards with him, and he knows every last one of the 80+ in the deck, but he was still insisting he could NOT read.  Last week Dave plopped him down in front of me, opened this book and said show your mother.
What do ya know???  Little stinker can read!  Way to go Grant! You will be off and running with the other kids now dude.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hello wisconsin!

 We took the kids to Wisconsin for a week this week. It is VERY nice to finally have kids who are big enough to travel and our kids are finally getting better at managing all the changes and adapting that travelling requires. We did ALL Of the things in 5 short days.

What is all of the things?
Eat cheese curds
go to the tipsy cow
go to the olbrich botanical garden
go to the henry vilas zoo
go to the UW geological museum
visit the Wisconsin state historical building
go to the elkhorn flea market
eat more cheese curds
Ride the ducks in the Wisconsin dells
Camp at silver springs camp in Rio
swim in the lake and a few pools
camp in a cabin
See the castle rock (so cool)
Visit the laura Ingalls wilder museum in Pepin
Visit the little house in the  big woods in pepin
drive forever in Minnesota to get home via iowa
and oh so much more!

We loved everything we did there really. It was hard for anyone to choose a fav. Madison is a great little town, I love how all of the things to do there are so much smaller than STL. You can take the kids and spend an hour and do a whole museum and not feel at ALL like you are so dead and ready to scream by the end. That also means you can do 2 or 3 things in a day. Madison downtown has a very laid back vibe. It is totally walkable, even for little kids and feels very safe to just have a wander and find yourself some good local lunch.
(Grant cleverly decided instead of cheese they should say cheese curds when getting their pics taken)










 The kids REALLY REALLY loved the ducks. I remember riding those in branson as a kid, and I loved it so much too, so it was high on my list. They laughed and laughed at the jokes and were amazed at driving in and out of the water.




 The campground at silver springs was VERY clean, very quiet during the week and had lots for them to do.  We did end up leaving a day early though bc it would NOT stop raining and it was really quite chilly, which puts a big damper on lake and swimming time.


 They enjoyed the old school game room during the rain.

 On the way to pepin I was amazed at how different the mississippi river is up there! It is so sprawling and swampy and not at all like the river down here.
 We finally made it to the wilder museum in Pepin. It's tiny but there were lots of quilts for me to see!
 (I REALLY wanted to correct this sign - this Is not a tied quilt)
 They believe this quilt belonged either to Laura or rose.



 We had been listening to a little house audio book in the car so the kids were super excited to finally reach the cabin in the big woods!

 We had literally just listened to the description of how Pa builds the lock for the door, so Grant was endlessly fascinated with the darn thing. He spent forever working out how that thing worked.
 You can see - still obsessed with the latch. LOL
 When we finally made it to Iowa we happened to be in the just the right place at the right time. The sun was setting on our right...
And the moon was rising on our left.

So cool!

All in all, a super great vacay!

Now to start dreaming of how many states we will see next year!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Elkhorn Flea Market

Way back when the winter seemed like it would never end, I cooked up a summer vacation plan one afternoon. I have been reading country living magazines for more than 25 years now and I had a bit of a list in my head of flea markets I want to go to. Elk horn in Wisconsin has been on the list a LONG time. There also happened to be a campground I was interested in and one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder properties up there, so, let's make a trip of it!

We went last weekend.  Let's start with some thoughts on the flea:

It is HUGE. They say about 500 vendors. I have been to plenty of 500 vendor flea markets but the lay out of this market is really, really chaotic. There is really no systematic order so it makes it really hard to tell how much you have seen, how much left there is to see, where you have been, etc. I am pretty systematic in all things in life - including flea marketing! I like to start at one end and purposefully make my way to the other end, so, I hated this. It made me hard for me to focus on the junk because my mind was like where are we? 

It was really hard to negotiate. After 20 years I am a pretty seasoned flea marketer. I very rarely bargain for things under $20 unless I have a legitimate reason to think the price really is too high. I did overhear other people saying that negotiating there was impossible and I found it the same.

The prices were pretty high. Most everything there truly is vintage or antique, meaning there were no real "steals", but nearly every quilt was $125+. Even quilts that were imported, in poor condition, were tied, had period inappropriate fabrics on the backs, faded, etc. That is a real turn off for me. I am happy to see nice quilts fetching what they are worth! but, meh on stuff that was really not worth that. 

Also a bit suprising is what I didn't see - no quilt blocks, bags of pieces, feedsacks other than a few that had been cut into napkins ($10 for a tiny piece), vintage fabric. I did only see about 70% of the show I think -it was hot in the sun, the kids were sweating, I was sweating and after 2.5 hours the kids were really at the end of their tolerance.

So, having said all of that, would I go again? I probably would give it another chance. Now that I have some clue how things are laid out my brain would probably find it less chaotic. Is it the most awesome flea I have ever been to? Nah. Is it the most vintage stuff I have ever seen in one place in a LONG LONG time? Yes. And I did see some things I never see locally. 

What did I buy?



 A yo yo quilt I am hoping to get repaired here today. I am going to tell everyone what I paid, just because I have mentioned the pricing at this market. It was $30. I am missing the full photo of it. The condition of it is really not that bad, but I had to look at hundreds of quilts to find one I could actually afford.
 This white table linen is SO gorgeous.
 Really delicate and amazing. It was $6
 This is a quilt top. I really think was another lucky score given the quilt prices up there, $35


 This is a pillow cover, the condition is not great, but it is society silk, something I really do not see very often here. (like once in a blue moon really.)  I had to kind of bargain endlessly to get this for $20. It is stained and I think there is no way to clean it because the red silk thread will bleed.
 A damaged Santa ($15) and a pristine picnic tin ($15).  Other tins were selling for close to $50.
 A very dirty doll quilt. Only $3.
 A really small luncheon tablecloth. $8. There were HUNDREDS and hundreds of tablecloths. Massive piles of them. $30+ each.
 A toy sewing machine. I did manage to bargain on this one a little, $35.

Now a few pics of things not bought, just to give a little taste of the flea:


 (None of these were less than $125)

So, one flea market bucket list item checked off for me! Now I need to decide what's next for next year.