Beware The Ides Of May……..

Yesterday I survived my first-and hopefully last-tornado. 

Being from the east coast, I have had my share of hurricanes, but not tornadoes.  Hurricanes give you several hours, if not days, to prepare.  Tornadoes do not.  They give you mere minutes. 

Picture it:  May 15, 2018.  Connecticut.  I got off work around 2PM because the office A/C was not working and the temperature outside was a very humid & stifling 85 degrees.  I went home, put on the A/C, had a snack and fell asleep.  I was awoken at around 4:45PM because both my cell phones were blasting the EAS (Emergency Alert System) tone.  I keep an old cell around with my TV app on it since I am too lazy to download it to my new phone.  (I know….please don’t judge).  

Tornado OXFORD

 

At first I thought it was the usual-an  amber alert-so I did not panic.  Then the automated voice came on:  

“Tornado warning in this area until 5:15PM.  Take shelter now.”

“What?????????????”, I thought.  

Then the voice repeated itself. 

“Tornado warning in this area until 5:15PM.  Take shelter now.”

I grabbed the phone to check the time.  I had less than 30 minutes to prepare.  Then I put the TV app on to watch the local news.  I heard every other word because my mind was still reeling from the shock……until the phrase “this is the kind of storm that has the potential to take the roof off a house” was spoken.  Then, panic set in.  My heart began to race.  And I started to cry.  I was never much of a crier, but in the last few years it has become my go-to thing.  And I began to pray.

Tornado WALLINGFORD

I unplugged my computer and TV because I was taught to always do that in a hurricane in case of a power surge.  I live in a small cottage and every room has windows except the bathroom, so I threw whatever necessities I could grab-like Snapple bottles, my meds-into my pocketbook, grabbed a folding chair from the closet and went into the bathroom.  

I was terrified but tried to focus on how to stay as safe as possible during the next few minutes.  I texted “We are under a tornado watch WTH” to my dear sweet cousin, Gina, who lived in Alabama for over a decade and knew the tornado drill like the back of her hand.  She is also a former nurse and one of the best moms I have ever seen so I knew she would help me just by answering my text so I would not feel so alone.  But when she texted back “OMG”, I think I threw up a little (I can’t really remember…..it is still a blur).

Then the Gina I know, love and admire started texting me instructions:  “Bathroom safest place if there is no basement.”  Check.  “Watch means conditions are favorable.  Warning means tornado has been spotted”.  Check.  “Plug in all your communicative devices-phone, computer.  Keep things plugged in in case you lose power.”   Leave bathroom to plug in computer and grab phone chargers.  Check. 

Then I heard the rain & hail hitting the windows and heard the glass bottles in my outside recyclable bins rattling.  I heard something heavy hit my roof and the lights began to flicker.  “It’s here” I texted Gina.  In the past she told me that when a tornado is close it sounds like a train.  The lights started flickering so the news app went off.  Then the power went out and, as Johnny Cash sang in “Folsom Prison Blues“, I heard the train a-coming.  Except for when my dad died and I felt like an orphan (despite being way over the age of 21), I have never been so scared.   I texted Gina that the power went out but miraculously it came back on less than 10 seconds later.  Then I told her I was scared.  And I started praying even harder. 

Tornado A-DAMAGE

Then, oddly enough, I remembered Cloud Nine’s manager & resident Baptist, Glenn, praying to Allah in the Superstore episode where they were hit by a tornado.  That must have given me enough momentary peace to slow my heartrate down for a second and suddenly the news app came back on.  The lights flickered a few more times but the power remained on.  Thank you, Jesus.

More texts from Gina:  “R U listening to weather?   Do you have sirens?”  (Where she lived they have tornado sirens, but we only have the EAS.)  

“Just listen to weather and stay in bathroom.  It has more support.  Trying to see on radar when the rain storm will pass.”

Then the weatherman said the winds were down to 85 from 100 so I texted Gina this development.

“It is passing.  10 more minutes it should calm down”.

“Can you hear the wind?”

“What is your zip code?”  (I knew she was checking the online reports of the storm for me.)

“It says it will continue to rain but tornado warning will cease.”

I thanked her for staying with me while I was so scared.

“It is very scary.  CT NBC has a site.  Put in your zip code and you get alerts and watch where the storm is moving.”

Tornado CHESHIRE

Then her wonderful news about the storm diminishing was confirmed by the news team I was watching.  The worst was over.  I was OK, so was my house, and so was my car.  Thank you, God.

The pictures in this post are ones I found online of some of the storm damage.  These towns are not far from me.  As the saying goes, it could have been SOOOOOOO much worse for me.  I could have been in the car driving, or at a place that was not as safe as my house.  Scary.        

Thank you, sweet Gina, for ALWAYS being my hero & my biggest cheerleader.  And hats off to all you southerners who deal with tornadoes as part of your lives.  I have no idea how you do it.   

Until next time, happy digging!!!  And stay safe!!!

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Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  How are all of you, especially those on the east coast with Winter Storm Jonas’ wrath behind-er, around you?  How did you spend your time snowed in?  Cuddling under a toasty blanket with you favorite book, person or pooch?  Or cooking big pots of stew and soup?  Or just catching up on sleep?  Whatever you did, I hope you and yours were safe and warm.

Peanuts snow day

Original Source:  Charles M. Schulz

Saturday brought us remnants of the storm and I reveled in the beauty of my first snow storm as a CT resident!!!  The snow did not start here until around noon and in total I think we received somewhere between 3-5 inches.  It was a little hard to tell for sure with the wind drifts.  Here is a picture I shared on Instagram about two hours in:

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I have trouble parting with my Christmas tree every year, especially when it still looks so healthy and green.  So instead of throwing it into the recyclable bin, I put it outside my front door after Little Christmas, or the Feast of the Epiphany.  It seemed to thrive despite the bitterly cold weather of late and the snow:

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I think I am going to use the shortening tin again next year to hold my tree.  I really like the way it looks.  I usually use a crock to hold it, but since this tin was bigger, I was able to get a larger tree.  What do you think?

As much as I should have spent my time inside unpacking my “Hoarders“-like apartment, I did the next two best things:  caught up on sleep and scoured the Internet for decorating inspiration.  I have a small wall in the bedroom part of my studio that I think would be perfect for a faux fireplace.  I got the inspiration from Kathleen at Faded Charm, who was kind enough to let me share two of her pictures with all of you:

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Courtesy of Faded Charm

Isn’t everything you see in the room simply stunning???  I really adore her style, especially how she strategically places pops of color amongst the neutral palette.  Look at the way she has displayed a chandelier on a stand:

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Courtesy of Faded Charm

I have a chandelier that I want to hang in my new apartment, but in case I cannot due to rule restrictions, I can do what Kathleen has done and add candles instead of bulbs for a gorgeous ambience.

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I just love the cut glass design on my chandelier:

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I also have a mirror that I hung over the fireplace mantel in my house.  I think it will be perfect for the faux fireplace project.  What do you think:

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So now starts the hunt for the perfect fireplace surround and mantel.  Maybe by the time I find it I will have room to use it if I can get passed my procrastinating ways.  If I don’t, the threat of a “Hoarders” episode is more real than imagined.  But then again, I would have a cleaning crew and a professional organizer to help me so it might be worth it!!!  Just kidding.  I am not really a hoarder, just an anti-proactive person who is a little lazy sometimes because daydreaming is soooo much fun!!!

Any tips for getting past my dreams and into action?

And how did you spend your weekend?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

 

Estate Sales, Explorations & An Exquisite Anniversary

Hello, Vixens!!!  How have you been?

I have been avoiding the heat of these final weeks of summer by staying inside in the A/C to either work or unpack.  But when you are as bad of a procrastinator as I am, time goes by even quicker than usual (or so it seems).  This is where I started-with a mountain of boxes in my living room:

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I left the bedroom and kitchen clutter free so I could function and live in them while I went thru the boxes (and because I know how slow I am!!!  LOL)  Those two rooms are not close to being set up yet either, but at least they are box free.  I really want things livable by the end of next month so I am ready to celebrate the arrival of fall (HOORAY!!!).  So what did I choose to do this weekend with a ton of unpacking still left to do?  Of course, I hit some estate sales!!!

I have not indulged that much this summer for the obvious reasons, and I was getting stuck in my head between wanting things in my apartment to be perfect and getting lost in the details of it all.  So my solution was to clear my mind by getting out & exploring the new state I live in.  I originally had plans to go to the Bridgewater County Fair  but the weather was still a little too hot for me, so I decided to wait until next month before attending any fairs.

GPS took me to the first sale through the beautiful back roads of CT.  It was so nice to be amongst nature instead of just looking at other cars and cement.  Here is a picture I took from the car at a red light:

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It was my view for most of the ride.  Just beautiful.

I also passed this tiny little cemetery.  Have I ever told you how much I love cemeteries?  They may represent death, but they are always so peaceful and showcase such beautiful craftsmanship on the stones, especially the older ones.  Some tell you a family’s history, or contain poetry or bible verses.  But all of them tell you someone was loved and remembered, which is the nicest part of all to me.

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At the  first two sales I did not see anything I wanted, so I just enjoyed looking around and being back in the game.  However, at the last sale I went to I found these beautiful pieces of silverware, including a few ice tea spoons to add to my collection.  It is not a complete set, but I do not mind since I love the pattern.  And all these pieces (plus 6 knives not pictured) were only $10!!!

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After my purchase, I went to CVS for a snack.  I am obsessed with their Kettle Corn and lucky for me it was on sale so I stocked up!!!

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I also took some time to admire all their fall candles.  Isn’t it great how you can buy your fall decorations and Halloween candy at the same time you buy your back to school items???  NOT LOL!!!

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After that I traveled around aimlessly for a while longer and came upon one of my FAVORITE places in the ENTIRE  world:  Stew Leonard’s!!!

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The first time I went to this chain was last November but that was at their Yonkers location.  The one above (in Danbury) is less than 15 minutes from my apartment!!!  It could get me into trouble, but this weekend it gave me a great dinner from their hot buffet and some fruit and vegetables for later in the week.  If you have never been and there is one in your area, you MUST GO!!!  Their nickname is the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores”!!!

Sorry for the quality of the pictures, but I took them on my iPhone because it was a little too hot to carry around my SLR.

No part of this blog was sponsored.  I am just sharing my weekend with you.  🙂

So, have you been to any estate sales lately???

Also, today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of one of the greatest rock albums of all time, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run”.  This album changed my life.  I believe the last song on the record, “Jungleland” is still the greatest song I have ever heard.  And when all else fails, I remember a quote from the first song on the album, “Thunder Road” which always seems to help me find my way again:  “What else can we do now except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair.”  Amen.

To commemorate this landmark album’s anniversary, Backstreets.com is selling the poster below.  Too cool!!!  And all net proceeds will go to WhyHunger.  Even cooler!!!

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Photo courtesy of Eric Meola.

Until next time, Vixens, happy digging & happy listening!!!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you are all doing well & enjoying your summer.  If you are like me, you are counting down to the start of fall in about two months!!!

A couple of blogs ago I told you that I was getting ready to move again, this time to a small New England town in Litchfield County, Connecticut.  Today I want to share my new place with all of you.  These pictures were taken before I moved in.  Once I am fully unpacked and settled, I will share the after photos with you.

Here is the view from my living room and bedroom windows.  I feel so blessed to be able to see this each morning when I wake up!!!  If it is this beautiful now, imagine how spectacular it will be in the fall!!!

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Here is the entrance hall to my apartment.

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The kitchen features a flat top cooking surface (no more scrubbing drip pans!!!) and a dishwasher, which I have not had since my college days in Massachusetts!!!

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The view of the kitchen from the living room.

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The living room with the most important feature:  air conditioning!!!

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Sorry for the lighting in the bedroom picture, but the sun was very bright and fighting me!!!

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The bathroom has additional storage thanks to the shelving unit left behind by the previous tenants.

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I know that medicine cabinets offer more storage, but I love the look of a stand alone mirror in the bathroom.  I think it is so much more elegant!!!

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My new apartment is in a quiet area but close enough to shopping so it is very convenient.  I am also less than 30 minutes away from one of my favorite places on earth:  The Elephant’s Trunk County Flea Market (read more about one of my shopping trips here).  But this could turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing LOL!!!

So now begins the next chapter of my life.  Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!

Road Trip-Connecticut, Take Two: Memorial Day Weekend-Sunday

During my trip, I came across a place to eat called Skooter’s.  The name alone made me want to try it.  Although spelled differently, it conjured up visions of Springsteen’s “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”
(“…when Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half…”).SONY DSC
I stopped in Saturday night for a quick snack (I am a sucker for pie) and instantly fell in love with the 50’s feel of the place (including the gorgeous juke box).
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The friendly waitress told me their breakfast was really good, so I decided to forgo the dry piece of toast offered as a continental breakfast at my hotel and treated myself to a hearty start to my day.

Never mind how delicious the eggs, bacon and home fries were (and they were scrumptious!!!).......how could anyone NOT enjoy a meal with Sam Cooke ("Bring It On Home To Me") and Elvis ("Jailhouse Rock") playing in the background???

Never mind how delicious the eggs, bacon and home fries were (and they were scrumptious!!!)…….how could anyone NOT enjoy a meal with Sam Cooke (“Bring It On Home To Me” and Elvis (“Jailhouse Rock”) playing in the background???

After breakfast, I drove to Old Lyme. On my way, I stopped for a picture of the water:

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Next stop: Treasures (http://www.treasuresoldlyme.com/).

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Treasures is a little bit of everything: old, new, furniture, housewares, clothes and accessories.

This hutch is new, but I love the color and its aged look.

This hutch is new, but I love the color and its aged look.

Love the robin's egg blue color of this dish set!!!

Love the robin’s egg blue color of this dish set!!!

I think these chairs would look great inside in a living room or outside on a porch or deck!!!

I think these chairs would look great inside in a living room or outside on a porch or deck!!!

I thought this set of demitasse cups was sooo pretty!!!

I thought this set of demitasse cups was sooo pretty!!!

My finds at Treasures:  Six Ironstone dessert plates.  They were 20% off so they cost me less than $15.00!!!

My finds at Treasures: Six Ironstone dessert plates. They were 20% off so they cost me less than $15.00!!!

After shopping, I did some exploring in Old Lyme. The town has its own cemetery, and I must admit I think cemeteries are beautiful, especially old ones. The detail of the headstones, the trees and surrounding landscape plus the serenity are what I find quite stunning.

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I loved the old fashioned water pump in the cemetery.

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Old Lyme is on the water, so I could not miss the opportunity to get another picture of it on such a pretty day!!!

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And everywhere I went, from the cemetery to the water, I was greeted by my favorite flowers: lilacs.

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I could not help but pick one to put in my car.

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After that, I saw a sign for a barn sale. It did not actually take place in a barn, but I stopped anyway.

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Here’s a word I don’t see at too many sales in NY: FREE!!! (lol)

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My finds from the sale: Three stainless steel cabinet door storage bins for $8.00!!!

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After the sale & the sightseeing I was a little hungry, so I stopped for some homemade ice cream
(http://www.oldlymeicecreamshoppe.com/).

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The toasted coconut was so yummy!!!

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Then it was on to the Florence Griswold Museum (http://www.flogris.org/).

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There is a separate building used as a gallery behind the Griswold house which had beautiful art, but my favorite piece was in the historic house. I never saw an oil painting in black and white. Simply stunning!!! Thank you, Robert C. Minor!!!

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I also adored the look of Ms. Griswold’s bedroom. Someday I want a house with a fireplace in my bedroom!!!

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Happy digging fellow vixens!!!

Road Trip-Connecticut, Take Two: Memorial Day Weekend-Saturday

My weekend in CT for the Springsteen concert reminded me how much I love that state. I spent many of my childhood summers on vacation visiting family in Kensington, and two of my most memorable field trips in school were spent in CT-one at Mystic Seaport and the other in Hartford.

So, I decided to go back to CT for Memorial Day weekend for some sightseeing, some culture and, of course, some shopping!!!
 
I started my day on Saturday by visiting the homes of two literary icons: Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain. I never knew that they were neighbors!!!
 
This house behind this sign is the Mark Twain House. The Stowe house is across from it.

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The back of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s house faces the Mark Twain House.

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The Mark Twain House.

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This figure of Mark Twain is made out of Legos!!!

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After a day of literary history, I was ready to do some shopping. The Past Antiques Market in Oakdale, CT was just the place to do it!!!

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Even though I was a tomboy, I had one of these when I was a little girl!!! Who did not love Barbie (although I must admit Skipper was my favorite!!!). Remember all the cool outfits you could fit in this case???

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This vintage television with its black metal legs would make a great side table for a sofa or a bed!!!

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Got gumballs???

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Remember using one of these??? Cell phones may be more convenient, but phone booths are just TOO COOL!!!

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This looks like it belongs on the set of “Mad Men”. You can almost picture Betty Draper’s maid using this around the house!!!

 

Classic Peanuts game.

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My finds from The Past Antiques: An old baking tin for $10.00 and a CT license plate for $4.00.

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The nice man behind the register at the antiques store gave me a great recommendation for dinner.

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My choice from the fabulous menu at the fish market? The hot lobster roll on ciabatta bread. Delectable!!!

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After dinner, I took a ride along the water. I love to listen to the sound of the waves hitting the boats. And the sky was so pretty!!!

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The evening air was so refreshing, I decided to drive to Groton to take some more pictures of the water.

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