Angie’s Latest Addiction

How’s this for a conversation piece? A stiletto chair!

My mother-in-law was one of my best friends. Not many people can say that. In fact, when Michael and I were dating we’d go to see his family about 80 miles away a couple of times a month. He’d hang out with his brothers (except the eldest, who was in the Air Force and stationed 3 hours away) and his dad.

I’d hang with his mom. We’d go shopping. But not the shopping I was used to. We went to thrift stores, consignment shops, and places where we risked drive-by shootings, having hubcaps stolen, or contracting a disease if the items we bought were not properly sanitized. It was awesome.  We’d also hit yard sales – she’d haggle, I was afraid to. We’d go to auctions and estate sales. She rocked it, but I was afraid of over-bidding on something that wasn’t worth it. I tend to be competitive (duh) and get caught up in the moment.

Estate sales make me exceptionally emotional, especially when there are clearly no heirs because sentimental items are up for sale. If there are military medals I will empty my checking account to make sure no one hot-glues those to the butt of a department-store mannequin as an anti-war art piece.

Leaving the hospital the other day I was honored to hear a young veteran and an elderly veteran thanking each other for their service. I’d have been ugly-crying, snot and everything, so I took the stairs down. Incredibly painful, had to stop at every landing and take an extra pain pill and sit a while before I could get to my car in its handicapped spot. But the men were having a moment, and I didn’t want to ruin it.

Anyway, I’ve found a way to bid in estate sales online in my jammies. YES! the site is EBTH.com, which stands for “Everything But The House”. Clever, right? But here are a few caveats:

~Click the “Sales” button and only bid on things in or very near your city. I won something in my hometown and the pick-up was less than 48 hours later with only a 4-hour window. We only have one car that we can trust to get out of the county and back again, and my husband would be using it that day as part of his 6-day work-week. My super-sweet step-dad stood in line forever to pick it up for me, so I totally owe him a dessert. He likes strawberry-rhubarb if you have any suggestions!

~Click on the details of the listing. If it says “Blue Ash, OH” anywhere, DO NOT BID. This means the seller has paid to send their stuff to Ohio rather than divulge their nearest major city and state. If you are in or near Cincinnati, OH you can get some GREAT deals this way. Otherwise, don’t bid. Shipping will be ten times your bid – if you’re lucky. They throw these into random auctions, so BUYER BEWARE.

Otherwise, have fun! sign up and follow a few things all the way to the end to see how it goes. There are fabulous items, and even auctions where you’ll want everything (or maybe that’s just me!) I’m using it as a source for Christmas gifts for hard-to-buy-for people. Well, I’m trying! Here are a few random items I saw:

NO ONE has this. It’s the perfect gift for the stressed-out executive. Atlas holding the world on his shoulders (employees can’t name him, then fire them) and you twirl the art-glass globe so that every time you look through the eyepiece it’s different. Brilliant and beautiful.

Mexican folk art candle holder. I love folk art. I’m not telling you the name of my favorite artist, because I don’t want anyone outbidding me. If I get something I’ll share. You can set searches so that you’ll be notified if an item you want comes up for auction – sweet!

Architectural salvage I don’t have to ruin my shoes or break my back to get? Yes, please!

Neutral Chanel cork slides? I swear, if I didn’t live in my jammies I’d be all over these!

Diamond ring set in platinum with baguettes. Look at the wear on the prongs. An antique. You can even tell from the wear that the woman who wore it never took it off. This is a piece of history a true romantic would give to the woman he’ll love forever. Yes, there’s a reason I don’t go to live auctions. I’m incredibly sentimental!

Mann Cakes – I’ve Already Pre-Ordered Mine!

Seriously – who can resist a man who cooks well? Not me, that’s for sure! And I happen to know that the author’s sweetie not only cooks fabulous meals for her, but regularly paints her toenails. How sexy is that?!


Love makes men do desperate things, if desperate things means opening a rival cupcake shop to drive your ex-girlfriend crazy.

Twin brothers and Air Force vets, Tanner and Garrett Mann, return from deployment to find their thriving business burned to the ground. Time for Plan B: Move back to their hometown of Beach Pointe to start over.

But that means running into Paige and Morgan Baxter –gorgeous, curvy, and owners of Two Sisters Cupcakes.

There’s an old diner for sale across town, Garrett’s a great cook, and Tanner has an idea. They’ll make savory cupcakes that men would like. We’re talking bacon and Cheez Whiz. Even better? They’ll call it Mann Cakes. Problem is, they end up attracting an unexpected crowd.

Paige is furious. Every man in her life has left her behind, including Tanner. She’s sacrificed everything for her shop. She won’t lose it over some egotistical ex-boyfriend, even if he does have an Air Force-chiseled body. Her younger sister, Morgan, isn’t helping matters. She’s been gaga over Garrett since high school.

To hell with that. If it’s a fight Tanner wants, it’s a fight he’ll get. But how much is Paige willing to risk to win a cupcake war?

For fans of sweet, sexy romantic comedy in the same vein as Janet Evanovich, Lauren Blakely, Kylie Gilmore & Louisa Edwards. Bonus Mann Cakes recipe included! Pre-order it now for for the early bird price of $0.99!

 

Growing Up Country

My husband likes to tell people I like both types of music: Country and Western (Blues Brothers reference for any under-fifty readers). He’s fairly accurate, though.

Until I was in Junior High (what they call Middle School today) I had no idea any music besides Country existed. Well, except for what I saw on the Donnie and Marie show and Sonny and Cher. When Donnie sang about being “a little bit Rock and Roll” I just thought that meant he was an Elvis fan. I’m not sure what genre Cher’s music was, but it blended in enough with Tanya Tucker that I didn’t suspect a thing. We didn’t have any albums by Tanya Tucker, whom my mom always referred to as “that slut” for as yet unknown reasons, but I’d heard her on the radio. I figured saying I wanted to grow up to be Cher wouldn’t be a popular comment, either. But who didn’t want to be Cher? Tall, thin, beautiful, with long shining hair and a voice to die for. Instead I got a daughter-in-law who’s more beautiful than Cher and has a better voice. Not even kidding.

The albums in our house (large vinyl discs played on a device with a small needle inside a console the size of a credenza) were many, but not varied. Elvis Presley (my mom’s), Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, and Freddy Fender.  I believe I could sing any song we owned by Loretta, Elvis, or Johnny right now.

Of course you wouldn’t want me to, because I’m completely tone deaf – just like my mom. When I bought my first album (actually it was an 8-track tape, which I will not even try to explain) it was by the Eagles. She sang along and said it was great to jitterbug to. I couldn’t jitterbug if my life depended on it. I didn’t get her dancing ability. Album covers, by the way,  were an art form. Not as much in Country music, but if you still have any albums you love . . . frame the covers. I have this album in my basement awaiting framing:

When the radio was on in the car or truck, or on the tail-gate of the truck if there was work going on, I’d get to hear Olivia Newton-John, Tanya Tucker, Merle Haggard, Jim Stafford (hilarious! – Google him), Charlie Rich, Dolly Parton (I Will Always Love You is her song, not Whitney’s), Tammy Wynette, and even some Johnny Paycheck if I didn’t sing along! I still have this Olivia Newton-John album, and I’ll be singing “Have You Never Been Mellow” when I’m ninety and demented.

Then came Junior High, and my musical world exploded! Queen, Joan Jett, J. Geils Band, The Police, Blondie, Quarterflash, and Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight, a song that changed music forever. Watch and see an incredible Rap group who dressed like Mr. Rogers and didn’t swear. The closest things to violence they mentioned were not properly appreciating the food at a friend’s house and stealing Superman’s girlfriend.

Through high school and college I became a fan of Prince (RIP, Purple One), Rush, Vanity Six, Michael Jackson (temporarily), Modern English (Melt With You is still my favorite song), Madonna, Wham, and many others.

When I started work as a nurse in a coronary critical care unit where everyone had at least ten years experience to my ZERO and I was working twelve-hour night shifts, often with residents who knew even less than I did I got through it with The Beatles and Billy Joel. As I drove to work for my third twelve-hour shift in a row I’d always sing along to “I’m So Tired”. On the day I was born The Beatles were in the studio recording “Strawberry Fields” for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s kind of karmic that they were there for me when I needed them.

But I soon drifted back to Country music, with some Tom Petty or music from a favorite musical thrown in. I’ll never give up The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But now I listen to Miranda Lambert, because she’s a bad-ass and honest as hell. Toby Keith – same reason. Just a few notes from a Kenny Chesney song can transport me to the beach, and Aerosmith transcends genre – they are a burst of adrenaline when I’m just about to drop.

What music did you grow up with? Check in with Mama Kat this Thursday – I can’t wait to read everyone’s posts!

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!