Though she tries, Colleen has been unable to filter me. Hey! Who doesn’t like the holidays? We like them though they are stressful and lots of work. Really? Ummm… well… we have lots to do. I am, sometimes, beside myself. Slow down! Let things unfold slowly and naturally. And, yet, we have a good time, too. That, there picture would be Charles Dickens great grandson performing a one man show of Christmas Carol. For real! Yes!
Strange things happen during the holidays. Masks were still in – style. And, the non sequiturs? Don’t ask, I take odd and strange photos, too. The pink juicer has been our unicorn for years. Buy it?!
It was the year of the gnome. What do our cats know from Xmas? Our youngest. It used to be, that you dressed up all formal for Xmas. No more. PJ’s are just fine! Cuteness is independent of fashion. Have I worn a tie since I retired?
I have recounted our courtship and marriage before. Claddagh ring and Celtic knot – Colleen’s ring was made in Ireland, mine is of titanium. Symbolic? Colleen’s symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love. Mine is a knot without beginning nor end – unity and eternal life. Titanium (was) – the material of spinal fusion screws that dominated my later neurosurgery career.
Dog year – it varies but, is considered equivalent to 7 human years. Our relationship is barely a year old. Baskets, beer steins, antiques, and cats are sprinkled liberally about our lives. We make elaborate baskets but nothing so woven as these from the museum. We have a real toaster oven. We did discover civilization as we got older. We have a fun and loving marriage. No, I do not know how a squirrel got inside a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Once in a while, I look back. Did I shoot that picture?
I can hear Carol – “…enough cats already” And, “eight is enough!” I’m shooting the same things over and over as when I was diving the Red Sea. Enough fish… hey! I have a camera near at hand. This is the subject material that presents itself to my lens. I am lazy. We don’t get out enough. My bad. Colleen wants to go around anytime anywhere. We got a lot of “going around” to make up for. When do you see a bed pan with a chimney? The moon is not an easy subject, but, it shows up. Telephone poles always seem to be close by when you want to shoot the perfect sunset. I love my cats, too. They are just too cute sometimes. So, what to shoot? I hope travel restrictions end soon. We would like to go again. I am, indeed, a lazy photographer. I shoot what’s available. No doubt. But, I do try to shoot each and every day. Hey! It’s a hobby, not work. Happy and hobby have lots in common.
I have never been in many antique stores before I was with Colleen. No longer. I have been in antique stores across the US and the world, now. In our early days of getting to know one another, we were pretty innocent. Anything goes/went. Now, we avoid curated antique stores and equally we avoid junk shops. You would know one or the other if you saw it. I still shoot (photograph) typewriters. My first phone as a kid had no numbers. Ha ha. You picked up the receiver and the operator answered.
Too many stories. We are lucky. A picture can tell a thousand words. I prefer to be succinct. Pictures!
Colleen says I look at people (women) too much. Things have changed. How do you come to work? Really!? Mom always said wear clean underwear. If you come to the trauma ER, they cut your clothes off you. I’ve seen some pretty fancy underwear (shredded). Just wondering…. Another sunrise? I am so fortunate to see another. It’s a gift. The Turkish plate? It’s totally out of character and out of sync to everything else in the house. It fits right in. Nope, we are not in need of a bed pan. I don’t see an old “set” every day. Likely, I will not again. Everything is disposable now. Yes, the times are changing. I used to go to work in suit and tie. In my last job, I simply lived in scrubs for four straight years. A tie and jacket came out of the closet only a handful of days.
This is a tale. Ha! Colleen saw a pink juicer a long, long time ago. We have been to many antique stores since (years!!). We have never seen another. I presume she did not buy it when first seen, because it was too $$. Oh! The waiting! Don’t they sell them? They sure don’t make any! I caved. This past autumn I went on eBay. Voila! Delivered! Done! Ah! She said I was so sweet! We haunted antique stores this Christmas for Santas and other such Christmas bargains. This shop, we almost did not go into. It was the end of the day; we were tired; and, how many antique stores can one wander into? Damn! Sitting pretty! Right there on the shelf! A pink juicer! The price was reasonable. It was almost surely coming home with Colleen at about any price! And who knew there was a pitcher that went under the darn thing?
You win. You lose. We have not lost… any cats. And we are pretty much safe with ornaments (too)… so far. We got some retro ornaments. Nice. It’s nostalgic. Ha! I/we never had ornaments that looked like this when we were kids. Bargains. One Santa was a little as a $1. I made the Santa blocks. Ok, “V” is for Victor. The other letters? Dave? “U, K, B??” Huh?! And where is “C” for Colleen? I’m in deep trouble if she figures out the names of old girlfriends?! For, now I will stick with the glow of that “found” pink juicer!
Sometimes I think Colleen and I have a lot of time to catch up. That is to say – what would have had happened if we had been together fifty years? Shopping? Oh boy! The candy store is now, an antique store. We don’t buy candy. But… in an antique store Santa and Xmas is fair game. Gifts – the nativity went to a cousin. Snow globe – for Noa’s pleasure. The stone tablet, now painted – was ballast for ships coming to New Orleans. We scored a German pyramid ornament. Rare indeed to see; we have two now. Oh boy! Santa? Yes, Colleen decided to collect ones she liked. Oh boy! It means that they all don’t come home with us. The beneficiaries? My cats love siting scrunched up in boxes and baskets that we get. Yeah, yeah, I cannot blame Colleen alone; I have been guilty of a purchase or two. How about a light up Mexican style kitchen scene?
I prepare posts in advance. It allows me the space to compose and create and pick photos from my catalog. A few posts got away (published in advance) on Nov 30. My bad. I did not pay attention to the publish date. Jules told me a long time ago, too much was a waste. So, I did not and do not post multiples per day since her admonishment. Ha ha. Another, non sequitur. We hang out in antique stores. This one is somewhere in Missouri. Yes, Dorothy, we have traversed Kansas too. It’s somewhere around St Louis. I won’t go into details about how I know. And, you cannot tell (where we are) either. Old phone? With dial or without!? I bet there are many folks who have never seen this kind of phone. I shoot typewriters, too. This is the model I typed all my college term papers on – usually at about 3AM in the morning. Remedies? What will they put in a bottle. And, some have patents as well?! Geez! Toilet cream makes me laugh. No, I have never used it. But, in the misunderstanding of terms, it makes for a great juvenile joke among pre-teens. Yeah, there’s a little Peter Pan in me, still.
Where do you wanna go? I dunno. Typical. We had no plan. Do you need a plan? The local – throw away – paper proclaimed, farmer’s market. Ok! We met a basket maker who carries everything on her bicycle, including finished baskets, reed, and basket making tools. Driving along we found the ultimate junk store. Rusty nails! … by the pound. If you dye (fiber) then this is a mordant to set and contribute color. (I bet you wanted to know.) Alpaca farm? They spit?! … if you get in their face. Rude! We got fleece! Of course! Not fleeced. No! If you spin and weave, this was a good day!
Antique stores? Some are curated. Others are more junk shop with old rusty stuff. Curated? Well, this is where I overheard a customer bargain over a $1,500 duck decoy. Yes! The paint and other details changed after WW II and there are wood artists who crafted these items. $$$$ as in expensive! Huh! How about the silver antique store? it was full of shiny silverware and objects of great $$$ value. Really?! And who shined it all up? I laughed. There were a few bargains. And there were the Tiffany scissors for $395. Ummm, no. Junk shop? Well, not that either. We will just keep moving on. There are bargains waiting, somewhere. Otherwise, photo-ops are free.
Colleen is a good sport. We went back to the powwow for more… shots, and, a better vantage point (… and to roast once more). Our position on the day before was less than ideal. I got shots but… let us say that the second time around I was satisfied with our vantage (close enough to touch); it was blazingly hot. The crowd got to participate. Politicians made a cameo. Eastern war dancers (one) from Shinnecock got called out. The chief dancer has appeared in the same regalia in other pics in other years. Hoop dancers? … new to me. As I tried to absorb it, I captured some of the energy and motion. We even got a bird show. I am glad we went back.
The price? Dinner out. I got off easy. It was pizza. We were entertained (enlarge the image) with a wedding party – extra large – in the park across the way. Colleen, eagle eye, noticed the party. And, to finish? A “Bud” mug in the antique store. Priceless!
Jen had house guests who wanted to go to antique stores. But, of course, we would join them. For many reasons we did not come to this hobby until late in life. Cost was a big hurdle. Trolling for a bargain is a must. Otherwise, well, you know what happens when you squander a fortune on a bauble. One guest was in quest of duck decoys. Sigh. Everyone to their taste. Me? I shoot typewriters. I’m content. We don’t need one. Bed pans and urinals? Ummm. No thanks. A tiered Christmas pyramid ornament? We have one. Enough. Fun? Priceless! Duck decoy? $25, maybe. $275, (nope!!) ha ha! That would take away from the quest to find a hidden bargain.
A slice and a coke. What’s more American? This is/was my childhood. It has changed. The pizza is much more “craft” than of my high school days. We could get a slice and a coke by the subway for 35 cents. Games? Yeah, who’s looking for a Democrat Republican tic tac toe set? Old typewriters? In my lifetime they are obsolete. Striking mechanical keys? How quaint! Suddenly, things look so old…
There’s a shop we visit where the owners have been retiring for about five plus years. Everything is on sale 50% off. They wanna retire. Correct prices? How about 2X mark-up at ½ off? No? Well, whatever you buy is worth whatever you are willing to pay. There is a sense of scale to what things cost. Right? They specialize in Far East art, like Buddhas. Lee asked and was told depending on the culture Buddha has a different look. Some cultures believe Buddha is slim and in others, he is fat. I never paid much mind. I have learned something new once again. My cat? It could be Ray or it could be Nutley? Either way, they are well on the way to enlightenment. Does it matter which cat posed for me? Ummmm….
I dreamt about posting/blogging. Yeah, weird. I never did that before. The old question arises. Am I shooting for the blog? Or, are my shots “worthy” photos? Technically correct, many of my images are good. But, worthy? Goofy! Goofy? My garden – I discovered a tick (looking at the flower picture) after the shoot. Ha! I thought it was a spider. Wrong! And, long gone, there is no finding that tick. Now, I have to worry about my cats. Bee? Almost, but no cigar. The focus missed by just that much. Alas. Focus!? Ah, an antique store with old cameras. Wonderful, but, they are film. Collector’s item? No, more like they are dust collectors. Covid is pretty much done. There are no rules any longer. We are half masked, or, not. Brain coral celosia? Close, but not quite, I am still working on focus and lighting. Poor Peas, the calico kitten, has her own problems. She’s cute. The older Maine coon cats are jealous? They keep jumping her! I mean pouncing, hissing, loud, mean, ambush type altercations. So, ticks, are a problem but not foremost among what I think about.
If you take away no other information, Colleen loves to eat out. It’s a bread stick! …but sublime. What a smile! Travel day – it’s the long ride to or from. We usually squeeze in an antique store or two. Some are high end “curated” – i.e. expensive! – and others are more practical – fun. No matter what, there’s always a lot of what you don’t need or didn’t know anyone else would ever buy – an electric cow milking machine? Shepard and sheep? Empty tin cans? Iron skillet? Oh, the things you find! Herd immunity? And the smile (eating out)… priceless!
What do you do on a day you’d like to celebrate in an understated way? Head to the bookstore, antique store, and on to the favorite restaurant. Someone got a very nice day out of the deal. Pardon the out of focus shots – low/dim lighting. That would be crab imperial – pretty much straight lump crab meat. We got a teacher discount at Apple. And, “one thing” at Barnes and Noble – that’s the rule, just one thing. Happily married? I joke. But, it is not an oxymoron in our little house.
We go to antique stores. I pass the time by shooting typewriters. Do I like going to antique stores? Well, yes, it has grown on me (going to antique stores). So I shot typewriters to fend off boredom… well, I did collect one typewriter. It was an Underwood model like the one I typed all my term papers. Yeah, that’s a great memory?! But, anyway, I get three views now – front, top down keyboard, and the keys. So, I have a collection of typewriter shots. This is one set. Aren’t you thrilled? Yeah, yeah, the front view isn’t quite a front view. I am lazy. I don’t rearrange the displays to suit.
The Amish are odd because of their habits – no buttons or zippers on their clothes. And they do not use electricity or machine power. The hay baler is not powered, I guess. We all live amonst one another in peace. No pictures please. You know me. There’s never been a rule I didn’t try to break. Sorry. The rule in “Street photography” is that in “public” you are fair game for photography. It doesn’t mean I will photograph if you are in an embarrassing position. But otherwise…. that weaving device was one of the few I did not buy. What is it? Dunno. It would’ve been a good conversation starter.
Fuzzy lampshades. We bought a Hoosier cabinet from a couple – the guy looks like “Bernie.” It was eerie. We had so much in common. The husband and I came from NYC and swam on the high school team – different teams but NYC! Colleen and the wife were from DE with common experiences up and down the state. Hoosier cabinet – 2 million were made in the day – in Indiana, of course! They are valued by collectors. I did not know we were collecting… at least I did not end up with fuzzy lampshades. The Hoosier was something I did not think we needed. Wrong! What do I know?
Don’t go out. Do what I say. We have admonished all our family. It’s dangerous out there. Covid. We’re out in the antique store. Yes, we have/had masks on. Carolers – collectible. Colleen took notice. No! we got no room. Honest. Thankfully, we passed on mangers/nativity too. Santa? We somehow got to collecting them a couple years back. It was sneaky, insidious really. They just seem to show up….
We got this set, too many, in three or more trips. She felt guilty acquiring them in one haul. Ha ha.
Ooops. I’m late. Merry Christmas! I did not notice I lacked a post until now. Have I told you this is the tallest tree we ever got? Well, at least it is for me. Colleen has had tall one and the muddy pants to prove it…. My mantle, her collection of Santas is a story for another day. Suffice to say she/we collected them together. She has an eye! Ray the cat – see him below the tree – loves the tree – to eat the lights. Ppzzzzzt, as in electrocuted cat, so I/she chases him from beneath. This year we did instant Xmas. We got the tree and decorated everywhere. It turns out we were not alone. Everyone got a tree early. We are home alone but have spread cheer with family and friends. I have posted a picture a day of our decoration efforts to them. Today will be the mantle panorama. Cheer! All the best to you and yours!
Have you ever known me to be at a loss for words? Ha ha. I had no post scheduled for today. Lucky. I just noticed in time yesterday. Ummm, the last sentence would be frowned upon disapprovingly by Miss Digman my seventh grade grammar/sentence diagramming teacher. Her best trick was that she could/did rest her hands atop her bosom as she taught. (Hey! I was impressionable in seventh grade!) Everything I know about grammar…. Meanwhile, we made a Christmas raid on the antique shop – their advertisement in the local paper beckoned. Santas abound at this time of the year. Tryouts! Some few did come home with us. Not all. Ha ha. And, there are nativity scenes. I want to steal little baby Jesus from each, but Colleen stopped me. Darn! (No baby Jesus was harmed in the making of this post.) We’re doing what we can to keep spirits bright right about now. Carol commented it was a Zoom Santa conference. From a certain point of view….
“Lots and lots of Santa’s. Your photo is very apropos for 2020. looks like zoom Santa conference
Lurking in antique stores, you come across a lot of weird stuff. People sell stuff like spittoons and bedpans. No! Skeevy! Every day I learn something new. Skeevy is a word. Onomatopoeia – words that imitate sounds – e.g. honk. Umm….no spittoon, no bedpan. Who collects, saves, and sells stuff like that?