The day the container arrives from a shopping trip is pretty much like Christmas! It's so fun to see everything come off the container! While on a trip, we load the container everyday. Towards the end of each day, we gather the day's treasures and load the furniture, bubble wrap and box the more fragile or small pieces and pack it on the container. So, the items bought earlier on the trip will generally be in the front of the container, and the last items bought will be at the back of the container, and the first to be unloaded.
Depending on where we are, I might be packing things in the middle of a cow pasture, or next to a beautiful New England stream - it's really quite pleasant to be outside and that's one thing I love about my job! Of course, we have had those stormy days and hot muggy days that make packing a torturous night mare. I keep an inventory everyday of the items bought, where I bought them, and how much I paid for them so I have a clear idea of what is on the container. But the day we unload is the first time I see everything I bought at one time, in one pile! The container ususally arrives by train about a week after we fly home. So I have a few days to analyze what I got, think about what I want to put into the store immediately, make room in our garage and trailer, etc. And before the container is unloaded, I always think, I wish I would have bought more stuff, and then when it's all off the container, I think, "Wow, I had fun. I did buy alot of stuff!!!"
Sometimes, I even forget what some things look like that I bought early on the trip! The last time, one of the last things off was a big white cupboard, and I asked one of our co-container friends if it was her cupboard, and she said "No, it's yours!" My goal is always to come home with no money and lots of stuff, so it always feels good to see that pile of treasures! The container is trucked to a private street on the side of our house and we unload it quickly so the truck can be on it's merry way. Then the hard work begins - unpacking boxes, cleaning everything, waxing, spraying, etc. As I write this, I have spent the last two days in my driveway cleaning antiques - such a glamorous job!
My trailer is now loaded with clean, fresh antiques for the Remnants of the Past show this weekend, June 2nd and 3rd. And, my garage is full of clean antiques for our 13th Birthday Open House on June 23rd! And I have a load in my truck to take to the store today!!!
Our Empty Container when all the Hard Work as Done!
I love animals, and when our kids were at home, we had lots of animals. We had horses, goats, llamas, a pig, dogs, cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, mice, snakes, fish, a tortoise, and birds. Well, the kids all got married and moved away, and we were down to one animal...my cat, Liberty.
Liberty's easy and when we're gone on buying trips, she roams freely around the house, has plenty of food and water, and is totally fine for a couple of days. Our daughters come by to check on her from time to time, and she's fine! I know it makes perfect sense to stick to one animal, but I've been longing for another one. I've been wanting a dog, but that's totally out of the question...right now. They're too deserving of time and attention and with the store and going on trips, we just couldn't devote much time to a dog. So, then I've been thinking about a bunny. I told my daughters I wanted to get another French Lop Bunny like we had years ago. I love those big loveable bunnies with their floppy ears. I even looked on line one day - they're not the easiest to find, but I figured I'd keep looking. Maybe I would have some luck at the Orange County Fair or the Pet Expo.
So, jump ahead a few weeks to Mother's Day. My kids and grandkids said we were going to dinner, but before we left they wanted to open presents. Tessa had just done a photo shoot with my grandkids and I was certain I'd thrown out enough hints saying I wanted framed copies of the photos. Well, certain that's what was in the box, I almost fainted when I opened the box and saw a beautiful gray French Lop Bunny!!!! She's soooo cute! I was so excited and shocked they had remembered I'd mentioned that! My daughters are so sneaky. They didn't even let Don in on the secret, for fear he'd say no - they clinged to the addage, "It's better to ask for forgiveness, than for permission!" So we have a bunny! Everyone, meet Sunday!
I called her Sunday because I got her on Mother's Day Sunday, and I love the Lionel Ritchie song, "Easy like Sunday morning." I like to call her "Sunny Bunny." I'm working on getting her potty trained to a litter box - she's doing really well! She looks so cute hopping around the house! She fits right in to my country decorating! Thank you to my kids and grandkids!!!! I adore each and every one of them!!!
All Four of Our Beautiful Grandkids with Don & I on Mother's Day!
I have the most wonderful family! And speaking of the family, welcome to the family Sunday!!! Now, if I get a male, we can have baby bunnies! How fun would that be????
We had a fabulous time in New England! We began our journey in Maine! Traveling up the beautiful coast of Maine has got to be on everyone's list.
Loved being on the coast and eating lobster and steamers!
We had fun shopping in all the antique stores and small flea markets in the area! Look at all these wonderful old buildings that house antique stores!
One of the highlights of this trip was visiting friends, Michael and Lisa up in Cornish, Maine. They have a beautiful store and home in Cornish, and we were so happy to finally see their store and spend time with them! If you're ever in Maine, Cornish Trading Company is worth the drive! I found some wonderful treasures to bring home with me!!! Check out this church steeple!
We meandered around Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and made our way to Massachusetts for the big show, Brimfield! We shopped everyday in Brimfield for 5 days and we have quite a load to bring home! Of course, as soon as we get to Brimfield it starts raining! We ran to the nearest store and got rainboots - good thing, since it rained for 3 days! But, that didn't stop us! You thought it was just the mailmen, right? Isn't their motto "through rain or snow or sleet or hail..." No, the motto applies to antiquers too!!! We will do just about anything to find our treasures!
I think my favorite piece is a folk art tree with hand carved flowers and birds - it's quite amazing and it may not find it's way into the store! I always try to keep at least one "souvenir!" And, there's also a iron sculpture of a cat - he's so ugly, he's cute. I named him "William." I might have to keep him too!
But, don't worry, there will be lots more treasures up for grabs in Down Home! There's a beautiful miniature pie safe, teddy bears that are loved to near death, early pull toy horses, lots of early signs, cupboards, tables, iron pieces, braided and hooked rugs, blanket boxes, trunks, and all kinds of smalls just waiting to come in the store.
I love Spring! It signals the return of warm weather and I know summer is not far behind! We've had a wonderful Spring. We started with our Spring Open House on March 10th, which was fabulous. My dealers never fail to amaze me! They brought in wonderful spring, garden, and Easter antiques along with their usual fabulous finds!
Then we headed to Round Top, Texas! It's always fun to see our Texas friends and shop for lots of great pieces to bring back to Down Home! We unloaded the container from Texas on a Wednesday, then loaded our trailer on Thursday and went to Three Speckled Hens on Friday to set up our space! Yes, it was a bit of a whirlwind! The show was on April 14th and 15th! We had a great time in Paso Robles and enjoyed meeting lots of Central California friends and dealers! Since then we've been working hard on loading the store with our Texas finds as we get them cleaned and priced!!
And now as I write this, we are getting ready to go on another buying trip to Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts! I'm so excited to start shopping and find some great New England pieces to bring back to California! I'll let you know when the load comes in! But, until then, come on in and check out these great pieces that have recently come in the store!