Tag Archives: A is for Antique Hunting

A is for Antique Hunting


Well, folks, I did it!  I survived my first alphabet weekend without any major catastrophe.  “Major” being the operative word.

There were the minor bumps and bruises that come with any adventure.  For example, humidity was at about 99% yesterday, and the entire antique store I went to was not air conditioned.  My shirt was sticking to me by the time I left.

And, to be even more honest, I spent the entire afternoon exploring the shops and rooms and nooks and crannies with a lovely stain on the front of my shirt.  I’m a walking disaster, and about 30 seconds before I parked my beat up car in the lot I spilled my lunch all over me.  Some of you might think, “Geez, what bad timing.”  I think, “Huh, just another Saturday.”  I spill things all the time.

So about my time antique hunting.

I’ve never been antiquing by myself.  It’s always been the sort of event that I thought needed to be done with a group, or a friend, or as a party.

Tucked away in the heart of historic Wexford, the Wexford Antique Center is a dive of a place full of treasures and good deals, if you’re willing to look.

Boy was I wrong.  I LOVED hunting by myself.  I could look at my own pace, skip things I thought were boring or not worth my time, and leave whenever I was ready.  There were so many interesting things I found, it was definitely the right decision to kick off my.alphabet.weekends with a solo trip to the Wexford Antique Center.

This store is super deceiving.  From the outside, it looked like I might find enough things inside to keep me occupied for a half hour, at the most.  But they have used every inch of this place, and added an additional building in the rear, to fill this place from top to bottom with amazing artifacts and finds.  It’s like your grandmother’s attic multiplied by 30 and exploded all over the place.  It was a dream come true.

What I loved about the WAC was that there were so many amazing and unique finds.  They really go out of their way to make sure they have different finds.  I’ve been to antique malls before where every room is a repeat of the room before, and after about 20 minutes you’re already bored.  This place was LOADED with amazing finds.  Huge armories, side tables, beds, rocking horses, magazines, buttons, dresses, chairs, sewing machines, typewriters, stained-glass windows, chandeliers, silver tea sets, and mink coats.  There were toys from the 50s, a gas pump from the 70s, and road signs from the past century scattered around the walls.

Since when is a bike considered a Fresh Baked Goods?

There was an entire room full of wedding dresses that would have any little girl excited, if they could get past the ridiculously overwhelming smell of mothballs.  Another room filled with enough tea sets to have tea parties every day for an entire year.  A room full of door knobs, windows, wooden doors, and antique hinges.  I could have probably built and furnished an entire house with the supplies available throughout the store.

My favorite room was one filled top to bottom with classic books.  Many of them were simply older books from the 1960s and 1970s, nothing to get too excited about since they’re probably books my parents read.

A room full of classic books, just waiting to be explored!

But if you looked, carefully, there were some fun finds tucked away amid the humid wooden shelves.  One of my favorite finds in the room was a 1962 Barbie Fashion and Accessories catalog for young girls. It showed all the amazing new fashion trends you could buy for Barbie, including a wedding ensemble that would make me gag from here to the alter.  How did people get married in that?  I love little retro and kitschy things like that, though.  What 6 year old girl wouldn’t love flipping through this and dreaming of how they would dress Barbie up in these fun outfits.

The other gem I found in the book room was a 1929 Public Service Announcement from Shredded Cream of Wheat.  I guess PSA’s did exist before television, though I had never thought about it before yesterday.  This was classic, though, and had me laughing from cover to cover.  What I loved the most was that it was a free mailer, and encouraged its readers throughout the entire publication to send the same informative packet to friends and family.

The name of such an important piece of work: The Important Business of Feeding Children.

…so they don’t starve.

It amazes me that it took Cream of Wheat, sponsored by the United States government until 1929 to realize it’s important to feed children.  Either that, or it took them even longer to realize giving booklets titles such as The Important Business of Feeding Children will only lead to fits of laughter eighty-three years later when discovered hidden in the depths of an antique store.

The information, too, would make the FDA cringe today.  They recommend lots of heavy fats, like lard and butter, to keep children warm during the winter months.  60% of a child’s diet should come from carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and, go figure, Cream of Wheat.  Is this a propaganda ploy or what?  Fruit and veggies are also important, as well as meat.  But, Cream of Wheat wants you to know, your child will never be all they can be without a warm cereal breakfast to start every day.

The caption says it all.

Conveniently, they can sell you this warm cereal to stuff your children with.

There were so many other finds too, but I won’t bore you with all the details.  The only item that really caught my eye and was in my price range was an old soda carrier from what looked to be the mid 20th century.  It was a Canada Dry carrier, which everyone knows I adore.  And it was in such good shape.

I didn’t buy it because the buyer only accepted cash or check.  I had $5 on me, and had left my check book at home.  But oh how I loved this box.

My birthday is in 2 weeks. If anyone wants to buy this for me it’s $25. Let me know.

I wanted to buy it, put a few shelves in it, and mount it on my wall as a small shelving unit.  I might go back, but for right now my student loans are due this week.  So maybe I’ll go back after my next paycheck.

And that’s it, my first alphabet weekend.  It wasn’t a huge one, but I had so much fun!!

In two weeks I’ll have my next one.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing.  Any suggestions you can think of will be much appreciated.  Take a look at my list, and if anything says “Wow, that sounds fun” to you, leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading, as always I’ll see you soon!



A is for Antique Hunting


Boy, 24 hours after I post and things are already changing.

Letters are rearranging themselves all over the place.  I have no control over it, it seems.  M might now become B, B is being cancelled in favor of Q, and goodness knows what’s going on with X.

I’m exhausted already.  Is this what motherhood is like?  I suddenly imagine all of my letters growing arms and legs and cartoonish eyes and running roughshod through my apartment, jumping on the bed, pulling cereal out of the cupboards as I try desperately to get them to behave.  Where would a mother of twenty-six alphabet letter babies store them when she wasn’t using them?  Maybe I should invest in something teacher-y, like a blackboard.  Or a nice pencil case.

God, Children and Youth is going to be all over me when I decide to have kids.  Dear Children and Youth Services, I promise I will never shove my children into pencil cases.  Not my real children, anyway.  I’m considering it with my alphabet babies.

Annnnnd, time to move on.

So next weekend is the big weekend: the kickoff to my.alphabet.year.  I decided it was only fitting to start at the beginning of the alphabet, with A.  Which means, I’M GOING ANTIQUE HUNTING!!!

I love antique hunting.  I don’t do it enough.  Probably because Initech does not pay me enough.  I studied history in college for four years, so you could say I’m a HUGE nerd.  I was that girl who spent her weekends on the top floor of the library, looking through letters and war memos written by long-gone generals in the British army while they occupied Egypt in the early 20th century.  Don’t laugh, because it’s totally true.   OK, you can laugh a little.  I am willing to admit I’m a nerd.

Antique hunting, then, for me, is so much fun.  I love searching through items looking for that one hidden gem.  If I’m ever on the show Hoarders on television it will be because I finally managed to find the mecca of antiques, as well as a semi-handsome sugar daddy with no record (white-collared crimes may be accepted) to bank roll my love.

Next weekend, though, I will have to settle for my own checkbook.  Which means I might be able to buy a Nixon election pin, if I’m lucky.

I’ve had awful luck antiquing in the past.  One weekend last summer my mom and I went to this antique mall I had heard of in East Liverpool, Ohio.  For those of you who do not live in the area, you need to bring your Kevlar to 90% of East Liverpool.  The antique mall was located smack dab in the middle of that area.  Needless to say we didn’t stay long.  Hit up Eat N’Park instead.

This time, though, I have a recommendation from a coworker.  Yes, there are a few people there who are still in possession of their souls.  He swears I would love the place, he’s bought a lot of retro furniture there for his apartment.  He’s as broke as I am, so I trust the prices won’t be heart-stopping.  Of course, I’m basing all of this on faith.

Check back this week to see how my experience went.  I’ll be sure to post pictures, and if everything goes as planned, I’m sure I’ll have some crazy and/or creepy story to tell.  I seem to attract them.

Alphabet children, assemble!  It’s time we march out on this little adventure!

A is for Antique Hunting, here we come 🙂



The Rules of the Game


Why were our ABC boards never this trendy in elementary school?

By now the anticipation must be coursing through your veins: Lis is starting an AWESOME BLOG!  You could barely sleep last night after reading my post-Olympic post.  You’re dying to know how I’m going to pull this off in a year.  Some of you are thinking to yourself, “I wonder if I can join in on these adventures?”

The answers to those questions are, of course I’m going to pull this off, and YES PLEASE JOIN ME!

Before we start, though, here are the rules I’ve established for the next year:

1. I will complete one adventure every other week for the next year, starting August 3, 2012. This can be slightly flexible to allow for other weekend interruptions, such as holidays, weddings, and dreaded work at Initech.

2. As much as possible, I will try to go in alphabetical order.  That is not always possible, though, given the Pennsylvania weather.  So some weekends will be out of order.  All letters will be covered by the end of the year, though.

3. The alphabet list I have is a working list.  It can, at any time, be altered depending on my mood and ideas.  Part of this year-long journey is about growth.  Maybe even physically.  Would it be such a crime for me to be able to reach the top shelf at the grocery store without climbing on the lower shelves?

4. These activities are designed for anyone at any time.  I can (and plan to) complete many of these activities a la solo.  It’s a way for me to relax, unwind, and regroup.  However, many of these activities are that much more amazing with friends and family, and trust me, over the next year you’ll meet them all.  That being said, let me know if you want to join me on any adventures.  Most of them will be announced a week in advance, so if you’re free, and looking for a fun activity, feel free to let me know.

5. We are working on a next-to-nothing budget right now.  The cheaper the better.  There are a few exceptions to this, which you’ll read about, but even those are being researched, coupon-ed, and discounted as much as possible.

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: The list of events

A is for Antique Hunting

B is for Bike Riding

C is for Corn Maze

D is for Dance and Dine

E is for Elegance 

F is for Fried Food

G is for Gardens

H is for Hiking Adventures

I is for International Escape

J is for Junk Food Junkie

K is for Kite Flying

L is for Life on the Line

M is for Mason-Dixon Line

N is for Niceties

O is for Organization Patrol

P is for Pamper Party

Q is for Quidditch

R is for Roller Coaster Tycoon

S is for Simon Says

T is for Tourist Trap

U is for Under the Stars

V is for Volunteering

W is for Waves and Water

X is for eXact change

Y is for Yard Sale-ing

Z is for Zoology 

So now I have to ask…what do you think of the list?  Anything you’d add or remove?

I’ll see you in a few days to announce my first destination. Then you can decide if you want to come with me on my initial quest.