Thursday, May 31, 2018

May - You Didn't Bring Spring....

I feel like we never had a spring here in Wisconsin.   We had a huge snow storm on April 14-15, with 28" of snow...then in 2 weeks were were up in the 80' spring.  In fact, it was in the 90's here for the past several days.  90's and humid!  That's our August weather, not May!  

However, May did bring on the blossoms - apple, lilac, honeysuckle, rhododendron - all blooming like crazy.  Want to know what else is blooming like crazy?  Mosquitos - Wisconsin's real state bird!  CRAZY amounts!  My friend, Karen posted a picture from her car's back up camera.  She ran from the house to car with a swarm of them chasing her and hitting her back windows.  Deer flies, gnats...makes going outside terrible.  We are held hostage to them, in the car, house, barn....etc.  My hair line is peppered with bites from working in the garden.  Ok, enough complaining...we could have 28" of snow - it's still Wisconsin after all!

I've had a busy May, let's not lie...I've had a busy 2018 thus far and the summer is booking up with sales and events.  I have been on so many "picks" this past month and more lined up.  I don't know what is going on, but I LIKE it!  My barns are to sell!  I might even do my own evening auction here with boxes of buy out stuff.  We shall see....if you want to follow along with these things....LIKE my 2 main pages: and    

June will bring to the farm:  to the barn and outbuildings some fresh paint, rhubarb recipes, chicks (you will not believe where those hens are setting), weeding...weeding..., a possible remodel on the old milk house, possible additional small outbuilding or 2 (wink,wink...Al?), honey extracting and projects with my "4H kids".  I want to get back to sharing posts about these things with all of you.  

I had to give blogging a break, when I hit this "impossible to reach" view number...I couldn't keep up....pushing for new content was like a full time job.  However, I don't need to hit those numbers, I just need to share and write.  Numbers are just that - numbers and who's counting anyway....

We brought home an old dog, Cooper, from that living estate sale we did for Dan and Lynne Holt.  They had to move to an assisted living and Cooper couldn't come.  He is a sweet old dog.  He sleeps a lot....

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Old Seeds

No one bought these old seeds from our last estate sale.  Instead of tossing them, I thought I would give them a try.  Even if they don't come up, I'm only out my time.  I have extra garden space anyway.  

Have you used old seeds before?  Some of these packs are from late 1980's.  

We've had extra corn seeds that we put in the freezer and used the next year - believe it or not, it works.  However, I've not tried seeds this old.  

Do you save seeds?  I know my dad use to let some plants go to seed and he would collect them to use the next year.  He always had a huge vegetable garden.  My mom had her end with flowers.  When I say huge, I mean they bought part of the empty lot next to their house and put that all into a garden.  My parents had a double long lot in town and half of that was garden in addition to the extra lot.  No one in our neighborhood had a bigger garden than my dad.  When I was little we would sell the extra vegetables to neighbors so we had money to go to the fair.  Do kids do things like this any more?  They should.  This built my entrepreneural spirit.  

Well, outside to plant some seeds.  What are you doing today?

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

American Picker's Hippie Tom's Serendipity Farm 2018

Waterford, Wisconsin
Hippie Tom was featured on the History Channel's American Picker show several years back.  He opens up his farm for a Spring Fling Sale on Memorial Day weekends.  We went down to Waukesha to help Jon and Anna shingle their garage....truth...Al went to help Jon....Anna and I went here....I really liked all the little buildings and gardens.  I wish I had the energy to do all that!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

You Must Have So Much Fun - Town Hall Trinkets, LLC

"You must have so much fun" is what many say to me when they hear what I do.  Town Hall Trinkets, LLC is the name of my business.  However, I do have other subsidiaries of it...LOL

It is fun, here is how this week went:


Returned to the "Living Estate Sale" to set up our "snow day, make up day" bundle it sale.  When we did that sale, we received 28" of snow, so we had to cancel our last day where we make "deals."  The house sold, so we wanted to help them try to get rid of more....many items were FREE. 


10 am returned to a previous "pick" to load up on what I couldn't fit in my van.  They had another van load for me to buy.  Load, unload, stack ..... shuffle, shuffle... I did get this...I'm keeping it....

6:30 pm an estate consultation where I walked the pole building and garage, gave advice to them for doing their own estate sale.  I've known this family for decades, so they allowed me to purchase several items.  I need to go back next week and pick those up.  


10 am at ladies bible study in Birnamwood, so I took in a load to my booth at Once & Again.  Made arrangements for a future "pop up" and another brainstorm session with EmmaKait's Coffehaus.

2 pm Lisa and I returned to an estate sale home, that now will be listed and gave advice to the granddaughter.  We proposed a few options for them.  The family will decide which option they prefer.

5:15 pm new estate consultation where I was asked to walk the home and give advice and options for the family.  I found a rather rare vase, pointed it out to them, showed them why, the markings, how to look it up...."we would have tossed that, thanks!"  I also advised them on other pieces.  The daughter is planning to set up at one of the fleas I do with some of the items that the family doesn't want.  


7 am - 6 pm - conducted the "snow day, make up day" estate sale.  The original sale made double what I quoted them, thank the Lord, so this sale was more about getting rid of than a dollar amount.  However, we did do really good for the family.  


9 am meet with the "Theme Team" at the shop

11 am - 2 pm return to the sale, box up the remaining items, meet with an artist who is interested in "buying out" remaining items from that sale. up items for the "Road Trip" pop up at Anna's house....

You see, a full 40 hour week - fun and work.  I wanted to take a "break" from mall selling this year, it was a hard decision for me as you become friends with the shop keepers.  I wanted to return to this....what I do....I am a 3rd generation picker, born into a family of ministers and preachers.  I enjoy helping and sharing my knowledge with others, that is my gift of ministry.  I had several people ask "why do you work so hard" - well, we all have to work - I just do it differently.  When you truly enjoy what you do, it doesn't feel like work.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.   

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Under Construction - Building Your Nest

First, can I have a round of applause for the beautiful crab apple trees that anchor our circle drive!  What beauties they have been this year!  The bees are drunk on them.

This morning as I pushed the garbage can to the road, I saw this bit of hay hanging from the branch.  I looked up to see what I believe to be a Robin's nest under construction.  My mind quickly started assembling this blog post.  I do love to write, which is funny because I'm not a great reader.  I probably have some kind of issue that wasn't diagnosed when I was a kid....o.k. I KNOW I am on "the spectrum" for lots of issues, let's not kid ourselves. (wink, wink).

You know, I have lived in 3 houses my whole life....all of which were ALWAYS under construction.  My dad spent near my whole life remodeling my childhood home, Al and I have done the same with our 2 homes too.  That's o.k., I'm not use to a "picture perfectly staged" home anyway.  I know my customers often say, "you must have a beautiful home" - hahaha...I do, just not staged (well, with clutter...LOL).  

Under construction, remodeling is a good thing for our bodies too.  Every experience should change us and mold us into a better version of ourselves.  If  we were a "perfectly staged" body, we must be laying in a coffin....for real.  God doesn't intend on us to be perfect - He is made perfect within us.  I think on Hebrews 10:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Perfection isn't within ourselves, not our abilities or talents and no amount of money could buy it, in fact it's free.  A free gift, all you need do is accept it.  Now, this gift, Free as it may be, comes with some directions; repent (ask for forgiveness), take on His name in baptism (washing away of old you) and receive His spirit (Holy Ghost).  Without getting into a doctrinal debate - which is NOT my intention -  there is always more for us as followers of Christ.  More...

I write this today, totally feeling convicted and guilty of my behavior and the words I chose yesterday to share with a friend.  Whom I later apologized wasn't about her, rather feelings, she just listened.  

Perfect, who?!?, not me....I'm still changing and molding.  However, I am reminded today that He is made perfect within me....I better be showing that!   

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, May 21, 2018

Motivational Monday - Big Fish vs. Little Fish

For my Motivational Monday, I was inspired to write about my experiences in resale.  Hence...big fish vs. little fish.

So, you all know I have been hustling, hauling and haggling my wares since I was old enough to sell handmade Barbie clothes and furniture.  I've been doing "this" my whole life - born into it kinda thing.  Don't get me wrong, I had a "real"  job too...but, left the desk behind 22 years ago.  

It never ceases to amaze me that what I do, isn't looked upon as a "real" job.  Maybe, over the past several years, with the popularity of American Pickers and Flea Market Flip - "this" has become more of an acceptable profession.   

Many years ago, Lisa and I packed up our babies in car seats and drove to a week day auction way up in northern Wisconsin.  As we pushed our strollers to the hay wagon....we heard..."why are those 2 here?!  This is our livelihood our jobs...they better not run our bids....go home already!"   Ya, without sounding bitter, for some reason, we have had to climb our way all the way...enough about that...because there are way more mean quotes said over the years and I wasn't going to sound bitter - I'm better for it!

So, Saturday at the Tansy Hill Barn Bazaar, I had another friend and dealer ask my advice on resale.  I was honest and clear about my experiences and shared that with her.  She was specific in her questions and appreciated my experience and honesty.  Now this person and her partner are kinda the "it" girls in their community and city that they sell in -"big fish in a little pond."  The questions were directed at sharing my experiences in doing a show where I felt like a "little fish in a big pond" and not only that....but, a "fish out of water" kinda thing....  So, my advice was..."do you want to be a big fish where people love you, or a little fish where no one knows you (or wants to be your friend)?"  

I told her,  just because a show draws a crowd 25,000 people, doesn't guarantee your selling to them.  You could set up at an event 15 miles from your home, where half or more of the customers know from you....and sell waaaayyy  more to them.  And....they appreciate it!  She thanked me and said "that was my thoughts too!"  Now, I get the "I want to be seen" attitude, networking with others in another area, but listen, that doesn't always happen.   

I'm not saying I will NEVER do another show in another state....that's silly...I probably will.  However, my best show is always my own event, Ringle Harvest Day and  After the sale on Saturday at Tansy Hill Farm - it looks like that one will be a close second.  So, I will save my best primitive and farm items for those events - where I know everyone and they appreciate my wares.    It won't make my LIKES any bigger - but, that's only a number.  The number of people who LIKE me is far more!  I was told one time..."well, you have your haters...and I mean HAY TERS!"  Ya, that was said to me...hey, Better not Bitter Dicky Bird.... However, I just keep swimming....

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Antique Carpenter's Bench

Ok, if I had room in my house, I would keep this.  I only regret I didn't take a before picture.  Trust me, it was greasy!

Last summer, I was called to help a couple with downsizing for a move to Florida.  Wendal, was a deputy for Marathon County Sheriff's Department and he knew me through my long ago full time job at a law office.  After he married Arlene, they  moved from Milwaukee to Edgar in late 1950's.  Wendal brought this work bench with him and it has sat in one of his outbuildings ever since.  I had to convince Al, because it was like 90, humid and mosquito's/flies infested to help me dig it out.  He didn't see what I saw then, but he does now!

After a good wash, I used my palm sander to go over it like a 10 times, mineral spirits and steel wool and another wash.  It was beautiful.  I tried a new product, Watco Butcher Block, wax and conditioner as I thought someone might use it as a kitchen island.  Amazing product, my new favorite!

I bought the big letters last fall from my friend Tracy, who happen to be at the right place at the right time - I knew I was going to spell out EAT as soon as I saw it...I knew I was going to do this for my set up at Tansy Hill Farm Barn Bazaar too!  Link Here:

If you happen to be in the area, come out to the event!  It is the 2nd year and it's going to be great!  I met Becky years ago, long before she had kids or a farm.  She would come to my farm and the Ringle Harvest Day and buy from me.  She is super talented and I am happy to be a part of this event!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Motivational Monday - Courage

Courage:  the ability to do something that frightens you; strength in the face of pain or grief.  Some of the other words we think of, might be: boldness, grit, bravery, nerve, daring or spunk. 

Are you born with it or do you acquire it?  I googled that question, boy did that take me down a rabbit hole.  I really just wanted to do a quick post for Motivational Monday on courage.  After reading some articles, I feel less qualified to do so, however, this is my simple thoughts on it.

Yes, we often think of courage as a warrior who takes on the enemy.  

However, courage is also like Rosa Parks, to sit and be still.

Courage can be like a child who stands up to the bully

and courage is the bully who faces the abuse at home.

Courage is the one who chooses life

the single mother

 or the ones who were blessed by the gift.

Courage is the innovator who comes up with a new idea

and courage is the ability to accept another's even if it is better than your own. 

Courage is the ability to face a loss of purpose 

and courage is finding a new one

I guess what I'm getting at is, courage is what you see it to be.  We are born with personality traits and gifts, that is true, however, our life experiences mold us into who we are.  It is courage that helps us accept and use them.  

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What I'm Working On Wednesday

A few pieces of furniture I was able to complete this week with the help of my "intern" Shannon.


Normally, I don't buy pieces like this; 1970's cannonball bedroom sets...but, this one is solid and I could see what it could be....

During:  Shannon's job is to sand, clean and paint the base coat color for me.  

After:  I need to get the glass pulls for top yet

I also did a dresser redo on this piece.  It was in need of a "knock it down."  Sometimes you just need to hit it with the belt sander.  I put added missmatched glass knobs.  

These will be available, along with other items I have, at Theme in Wausau this week.  

I also was invited to come early (which never happens to me) to a high school friend's aunt's estate sale near Stratford.  I did purchase 2 interesting little dressers to repurpose and several small items.  Some to keep, but mostly to sell.

I picked up a metal garden arbor that Lisa and I purchased along with a partial estate back in January.  Now that the snow has melted, ground is soft, we were able to get it.  That will also be at Theme.  

Tomorrow I'm meeting with potential customers for an estate consultation.  She says "my husband is a hoarder" so, it sounds good!  LOL.

Off to our Bible study this morning at Emma Kait's Coffee House in Birnamwood.  Once & Again is next door, so I'm adding a few new smalls to my booth there as well.  

This is hopefully how my Summer will go; productive, busy and profitable (smile).  Self-employment is wonderful when it all "clicks" the way you envision it to go.  Cuz, I have lots of vision - just lack the motivation at times.  Until next week....

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Wainscot Pantry Cupboard & The Gold Teeth

That sounds like the title to a mystery novel (wink) and it is.  I posted pictures of this cupboard on my facebook page as I have been redoing my kitchen.  My sister Lynn commented "I remember the day you bought that" and I said "I remember the ruckus we caused."  To which my friend replied...."tell us the ruckus..." so here goes.

 The Wainscot Pantry Cupboard & The Gold Teeth

In the early summer of 1995 just a few weeks after we moved into this old farm house, I went to an auction with my sister Lynn.  At that time, it wasn't unlike any other Saturday in the summer, we were at an auction.   We didn't grow up going to auctions, however I went to my first auction 10 years prior and I was hooked!  At the time I was still living at home in town, but I bought a saddle at that first auction.  I didn't have a horse, but I had a saddle.  If you have ever owned a horse, you know I did that backwards.  I told my sisters how much fun it was and we all started going.  Soon after, I started working for Col. Ken Marquardt when he had auctions. 

It's no secret that I like old stuff, but I LOVE country primitive farm pieces.  By the way, long before Fixer Upper made it a "thing".  In fact, I had my own fixer upper to fill.   At all the auctions prior, I would bid on the pieces I liked, but often time couldn't purchase them as the bidding was too high.  On occasion if Sue, Marlene, Duane, Kathy or Mary weren't there, I would get one.  LOL.  We weren't a "threat" to the bidding wars as we always had to quit.

Well, our family came into a windfall of money....that's what I'll call it....anyway, Lynn and I had deep pockets for the first time and off to an auction we went.  

This cupboard was at an auction by George Woodrich between Marathon and Athens, Wisconsin  (40 or so miles west of our farm).   It was a beautiful old farmstead, with many cool outbuildings and generations of stuff.  It was heavenly...well, maybe I shouldn't say that, but you know....  As I walked around, I saw it....the wainscot was inside the summer kitchen.  A summer kitchen is another building or cooking area outside your home.  In the heat of the summer, you could do your cooking and canning out there without heating up your house.  

(before I started cleaning - a catch all for everything)

I knew I wanted it and all the dealers were there that day.  I knew they all would want it too.   I had to be conservative with all my prior bidding to make sure I had enough money for the cupboard.  

My sister Lynn wanted this beautiful bedroom set; carved bed, gentleman's dresser, vanity - gorgeous!  Lynn's bedroom set came up first and she kept bidding and so did the dealers.  She just held her card up (LOL) and won it!  The crowd was stirring....what?!...she didn't stop?! was noticeable.   The whispers were like waves in the crowd....all the regulars were talking...."what the heck? she didn't quit!"

Then not much later, they came to my cupboard.  I had hardly bought a thing all day I was laying low.  However, I held my card up....not taking it down.  I can still see Duane and Marlene's faces....confident I would the number climbed...I kept my card held high.  The looks quickly became scowls and I heard something like, "Marlene needs that or quit bidding" - I did NOT!  In fact now that I'm typing this...this is the auction that caused Lynn and I to be the bidders were became....(Hey, look at that and I did that without even going to therapy...LOL).   Anyway, on with the story......I won the bid despite the glares.  As soon as George said "sold" oh my gosh the backlash!  "Good luck with that piece" "she paid too much" - I mean for real, on and on.  To date, 23 years later, it is the single most expensive antique I've ever purchased.  I do NOT regret it!  I overheard one of the regulars say...."what the Hell got into those 2 today - they were bidding like crazy women!"  Yes, it's true, there are no friends at auctions!  

Anyway, I had no way of getting it home (smile).  One of George's helpers, Jason, said he would deliver to my house for a case of beer - done!  

Once home, I had to figure out where to put it.  An old farm house has lots of doors and windows.  I made it fit in this spot, even though over the years we have had to squeeze other things between it and the stove.   After it was in, I noticed a bit of cotton sticking out of this hole

when I pulled at it, out dropped this

someone hid their gold partial in this hole.  I love it!  I decided that those old teeth had been with that cupboard for so long that they could stay with it.  I say that, that way, as I collect false teeth...I really do!  They are collecting somewhere....or should I say I have many different groups of them.  

So that is the mystery of the gold teeth and "ruckus" story all in one.  By the way, I've been offered 5X what I paid for that cupboard several times by different didn't pay too much!  

(After I cleaned it out...)

(I filled the cookie jars with tart and jello molds along with cookie cutters.  Each one of these cookie jars came from one of Al's grandma's farms and a few from his mother)

(growing up as a 3rd generation picker, I bought this imperfect little set of purple cows when I was about 9 or 10.  What would a would a picker kid put in their hope chest? purple cows of course)

(some of the other teeth I found in this cupboard while cleaning it out)

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.