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Category Archives: shopping

Consignment Find

I like getting multiple blog posts out of one Saturday adventure. For one reason, it’s difficult to have adventures every day of the week when you work full time, even without overtime (and I love my overtime).

Continuing our Saturday meanderings, Steven and I left The Bistro on Main Street in Frankfort, NY and walked almost next door to a consignment shop we had notice earlier. Regular readers may recall how much I love consignment shops.

Good As New Consignment Store occupies two rooms, both of which are packed full of stuff. We made our cautious way amongst the racks. I walked around two round racks full of jeans, but did not find quite what I was looking for (since what I’m actually looking for is to wear jeans two sizes smaller than I currently do and still breath, that is not surprising). We admired a number of chicken things: glasses, canisters, a hard-cooked egg tray.

Then Steven spotted on a high shelf a decanter in the shape of a soldier. A dragoon, 17th Regiment, 1812 to be exact. It is a fine, upstanding, elegant soldier from a time when soldiers had a certain style (this is not to say anything against our current soldiers, who have a style all their own which is a bit more appropriate to this century). Steven has always wanted just such a fancy bottle, but they are not easy to come by, unless you buy them new and full of booze for a considerable price.

I discouraged Steven from getting it down himself to check the price. I did not want that soldier to fall on the floor. A nice lady that works there reached it for us in a quite fearless manner. She had to consult the owner for the price, which was one we didn’t mind paying (I don’t like to mention the actual price, because I have found that there is always some wise ass to tell you you paid too much). I fortuitously remembered that I owed Steven a Valentine present, so we were all set. The soldier now stands on our dining room table, waiting for us to select his permanent place in our decor.

Good As New Consignment Store is located at 108 W. Main St., Frankfort, NY. Phone number is 315-868-0772.

Pre-Superbowl Errands

Superbowl Sunday, I perceive, is a good day to avoid certain retail establishments. Accordingly, I made sure I had all the foodstuffs I wanted ahead of time (Hannaford), and, well, I just decided I could wait to purchase more yarn (Wal-Mart). Still, I had a couple of errands to run, and that forms the subject of today’s post.

My first stop was Hummel’s Office Plus in Herkimer, NY (of course NY, I’ve pondered the necessity of including that and still have not decided) to purchase a sympathy card. Of course I like to walk to Hummel’s with my dog, but that’s more for a short stop to say hello, not standing for any length of time pondering sympathy cards (does everybody have as hard a time deciding as I do?).

I had a nice conversation with the girl working upstairs. My blog came up in the conversation (OK, I bring it up whenever possible; you never know who might like to read a blog). She offered to show me how to download pictures from a smart phone. If I ever get a smart phone.

I wanted to use a card rather than cash, so I went downstairs to add some office supplies to my purchase. Much more fun to look at. I have a definite thing for office supplies. I found a clip board such as I have been wanting and a black gel pen with a comfort grip.

Next I went to Ilion to gas up my truck. I’d heard that gas in Ilion was eight cents cheaper than in Herkimer, although I confess I did not look particularly to make sure that was true. I thought I might go out to breakfast in Ilion or Mohawk to write the day’s blog post. I love writing in restaurants.

I could see from Citgo that the OPEN sign at Farm House Restaurant was not lit, so I drove past Remington Arms and on into Mohawk. Mohawk Diner did not look open. The Family Fun Center was open, but I was well beyond it before I saw a parking space. On into Herkimer and my old stand by, Philly’s Breakfast House.

Philly’s was crowded, as usual for a Sunday morning. I sat at a wobbly table by the window. It shook quite a bit when I cut my Eggs Benedict, but I managed not to spill my coffee. I warned the fellow that cashed me out that the table needed a screwdriver or something. He promised to take care of it.

I headed for home to look for something more useful to do before it was time for the Superbowl. Like take my dog for another walk or watch more crime shows on cable television. And of course prepare some Superbowl-worthy snacks. Could that be the subject of the next blog post? Stay tuned.

New 2 Me

I love consignment shops almost as much as I love rummage sales and thrift stores. They are a step classier, so I don’t know what that says about me and my trashy mentality (I love that country song about “I like my women just a little on the trashy side”).

Steven actually discovered New 2 You Consignments a few weeks ago when he was looking for Dr. Henry’s office for his eye appointment. We sometimes get a little confused in Ilion. Steven went into the store and got directions. The ladies there were so nice about it that he went back after his appointment to shop. He purchased a lovely glass snowman ornament and two books for me (one was 1001 Wines You Must Taste Before You Die; if I did all that I could blog exclusively about wine till my liver gave out).

Saturday we made our way to 10 Central Plaza, Ilion, NY. A sign in the window touts the environmental benefits of buying second hand, so that gave me a virtuous feeling to start with. Spending money at a local business will boost the local economy, so I had that going for me, too.

New 2 You is a classy place with a variety of items tastefully displayed. I looked at clothes, but I want to lose 10 more pounds before I invest in that. There were a couple of vintage coats I envied, but I have plenty of coats (you can buy a bigger coat and not feel bad when you’re fat). There were some lovely glasses too, another thing we have plenty of. I made my way to the books.

One might think I have plenty of books, but you know, I don’t think there is such a thing. They had a nice selection. The one that caught my eye was a paperback called Stories of Suspense. It looked old, so I pulled it out to see if it had a pulp fiction cover such as I love. Not a bad cover. As I debated I saw, “Including Daphne duMaurier’s THE BIRDS.”

I almost jumped for joy. Steven and I pop in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds on many occasions. I would not call it one of Hitchcock’s finest, but it’s such fun. We always wondered how much the movie differed from the short story but have never been able to find the story. I was so excited.

It came to $1.08 with the tax. I had just pulled all the change out of my purse, so the lady at the register nicely took eight pennies out of the “leave a penny” jar. I must remember to leave some pennies when I return.

And I certainly will return. After all, $1 doesn’t do a whole lot to stimulate the local economy. For more information about New 2 You Consignments, call 315-894-2220.

Historic Christmas Present

For the last Christmas present for my husband, Steven, I made my way to one of my all time favorite places to shop: the Ilion Farmer’s Market at Clapsaddle Farm on Otsego Street.

I’ve blogged about the Farmer’s Market many times and will no doubt do so again. It is run by folk artist Jim Parker, which is why I needed to shop there Friday. I wanted to give Steven a Parker print. Steven has a real knack for decorating, and he especially loves to hang nice things on the wall. A nice print which we can get framed seemed a perfect gift.

I decided on a picture of Herkimer which Parker designed for the village’s bicentennial in 2007. It shows an aerial view of the village with a few close ups in bubbles, most notably of my beloved Historic Four Corners. It’s matted, so we can hang it right away, while we search for a frame. Or we may decide to take it somewhere, perhaps the Frame Place in Mohawk. That might make another good blog post.

At another vendor, I purchased a handmade pin of a sleigh with Santa painted on it. Very pretty. I tried a sample of their delicious fudge, but resisted the temptation to buy any of that.

Thousand Islands Winery was there, much to my delight. I’ve been at Thousand Islands Winery several times. In fact, every time I visit some friends who live in Theresa, NY, I ask to go to the winery. I got into quite a conversation with the man there, while I sampled a few of his wines. He was especially grateful when I asked to sample the Cabernet Sauvignon, because he had to open a new bottle. He had been wanting to sip a little of that himself. I bought a bottle, to contribute to my own merry Christmas. I’ll bring it to my parents’ house and share.

While I was tasting and chatting, Jim Parker came over and said hello. I showed him my purchase (the print, not the wine), and told him how I almost never come to the Farmer’s Market without my husband but made the special trip to get the present. Jim mentioned that he had designed the print for Herkimer’s bicentennial and told me he was working on a design for the upcoming bicentennial of the War of 1812. We talked a little bit about that war (not that I know much about it), and I mentioned the book I recently read about The Battle of Oriskany by Alan Foote (and blogged about it, if you happened to catch that post). I knew I had read something about the War of 1812, but the only American history I could recall reading was the Foote book. Jim told me about a man who was a boy during the Battle of Oriskany, went on to play a role in the War of 1812, and built Clapsaddle Farm. Jim is currently reading a book about the War of 1812 which he checked out of the Ilion Library. I said I would go to the library in two weeks and ask for “the book Jim Parker just checked out.”

I just love the Ilion Farmer’s Market. And Steven loved his print. I made him open it Friday night. For one thing, when he saw the pin and bottle of wine, he would have known I went to the Farmer’s Market. Why would I go to the Farmer’s Market December 23 if not to buy my hubby a present?

Counting Down to Christmas

Subtitled Take Charge But Not Independent. This morning (Friday), Steven and I tried to finish our Christmas stuff.

We did not get as early a start as I had wanted (do I ever?), but stopped for a good breakfast at Philly’s in Herkimer. I breakfasted conservatively (calorically speaking) on poached eggs with sourdough toast. Steven ate more heartily: bacon, egg and cheese on grilled Texas toast with home fries. He works later (actually he is shaving for that even as I type this). I tasted his potatoes. Yummy.

From there we headed to Wal-Mart. I had previously gotten the wrong color yarn for an afghan I am hoping to complete soon, and we needed to get a … for … (my family actually rarely if ever reads my blog, but you never know. Better safe than sorry). It was crowded even for 9 a.m., but we lived to tell the tale.

Then it was off to Ilion to pick up Steven’s new glasses at Dr. Henry’s office. I made an appointment to get my eyes examined there, next week, so you can look forward to that blog post. We drove home by way of Mohawk (I’ll post a map if I ever figure out how), so stopped by the Dollar Store (or was it Dollar General? I can never remember which is which) and got dog treats to complete Tabby’s stocking.

A quick stop at Hannaford, where we did not purchase all we needed (neglected to make a list), then a trip out to Heidelberg Bakery to get bread to bring to my Mom and Dad’s house for Christmas dinner. I felt we had done a lot.

Back home, we did some wrapping, and I started working on the … I’m trying to make for … We’ll see how that turns out. Someday I’ll learn how to post pictures and I can do an illustrated blog. I also made some White Trash. I think I can make one more batch before I get sick of making it and vow to never make it again (I may have mentioned, the vow lasts about a year, two at most).

I don’t know how interesting this post has been. I’ve sat here at the computer and pounded it out while Steven shaved. Once he gets his work pants on, I’ll read it to him and get his opinion. Well, it is Friday. I know I did my Lame Post for the week yesterday, but as they often say as an excuse, an encouragement, or just an observation: It’s Christmas!

Sunday Sprint?

Sunday morning I was an independent, take charge kind of woman. Which sounds better than saying I ran around in a fairly idiotic fashion and got some things taken care of.

I pause first for a caveat or disclaimer of sorts. In this blog, I try to boost local businesses and attractions — things unique or at least distinctive to the Mohawk Valley. I don’t like to do posts about chains or big boxes; they get enough attention. That said, sometimes I go to Wal-Mart. There, I’ve said it.

A lot of people hate Wal-Mart, and I admit it isn’t my favorite place. But it is the only place I can buy the yarn I like locally, and said yarn is at a better price than if I drove ten miles to the other places I know of to get it. I needed a few other things too. More excitingly, I now have a card that entitles me to my husband’s employee discount, that sweet 10 percent. Hey, every little bit counts. My husband, Steven, has now been employed by Wal-Mart for over 90 days. I would have loved to report that he was employed by one of those local businesses I love to tout, but the sad fact is none of them were hiring. Wal-Mart was. So you see.

Well that was a lot of blathering on to bring us to 7:30 this morning when I drove to Wal-Mart, hoping to beat the crowds. I decided on some yarn with a minimum amount of dithering, got a … to make the … for … (can’t get specific in case that person reads this post). I thought to buy some groceries, to save myself a trip to Hannaford, but I found the prices are not any better and the selection is not as good for the items I needed.

Oh, and here’s an aside: why can you almost never find whole milk yoghurt? It’s all low fat and no fat. The low fat or no fat tastes perfectly OK at the time, but within a short time I’m ravenous. If I eat whole milk yoghurt, it tastes much more delicious, and I feel full enough to last till my next regularly scheduled meal break.

So I hurried home, unloaded my bags, petted my dog, and began stuffing afghans into garbage bags. You see, I make these afghans, and at Christmas time I like to donate some to the Folts Nursing Home in Herkimer. I like to bring them to church first, to get the priest to bless them, in case they are given to someone religious. I figure if the afghan goes to someone not religious, it doesn’t hurt; nobody needs to even mention it to them. I had a few prayer shawls as well.

I looked at the time and realized I could make it to Hannaford and back before church. So I was off, in search of whole milk yoghurt, among other things. I feel contented enough to mention Hannaford in my blog, because Hannaford likes local, and puts handy little notes on the shelves next to products produced in New York State. That said, I recently heard the Ilion Farmer’s Market is going to be opened Sundays, so I may be headed there one Sunday soon.

Where was I? Oh yes, on my way home from Hannaford, this time in my truck, because Steven was going to need the car to go to work. I got the groceries unloaded, got the afghans in the truck and still had time for a half cup of coffee before church. I must admit, I was at this point a little flustered. I’m not good at being an independent, take charge kind of woman, I suppose. For one thing, at both stores I neglected to bring my reusable bags. And I had a Wal-Mart gift card we received as a Christmas present, which I could have used (is that appropriate: use a present to buy presents for others? It needn’t concern us; I forgot the card).

I was very happy to get to the relative peace and quiet of Christ Episcopal. I say relative, because much activity was going on. I did not realize that Sunday was the children’s Christmas pageant. That will form the subject for tomorrow’s post.

My Black Friday

Subtitled Fun with Family.

You might think Mohawk Valley Girl would be out on a day like Black Friday, checking out local retailers or community events. Sorry if I disappoint you. I had plans to spend the holiday at my parents’ house in Rome (at least it was still in the Mohawk Valley).

Steven was all set to experience his first Black Friday behind the cash register at Wal-Mart. I confess to being a little worried about him. My husband is a sweet, mellow guy. He is not up to combating the dastardly behavior of bargain shoppers. At least he had Thanksgiving Day off. We had a lovely day, then he went home to recruit his energy while I stayed on to continue partying with the family (I like the use of “party” as a verb; I find it descriptive).

I went running in the morning with my nephew Tom. Tom, of course, ran the DARE 5K with me — that is, ahead of me — in August (ah ha ha, snuck in another mention of the DARE 5K!). I’ll do a running blog tomorrow, perhaps. For now, I’ll just mention that we ran across a bridge over the Mohawk River.

Later in the morning, my Mom, sister Victoria and I went to the grocery store (for some reason, I like to refer to my older sister as Victoria, although I usually call her Vicki). Vicki (see?) needed supplies for the chili she was making, and Mom needed a few things. I’ll tell you what: the grocery store is the Place to Be on Black Friday. No crowds! Everybody we encountered was polite. We had a nice conversation about lemon cake with a lady in the baking goods aisle. Next year, everybody on my list is getting groceries for Christmas. After the grocery store, we crossed the street to the drug store so I could purchase some sinus medication I had unaccountably left at home (I later found it on my living room coffee table).

York Liquors, we discovered, is handily located next to the drug store on Black River Boulevard (or The Boulevard as Rome residents tend to call it). We though we’d just peek in. York’s has a nice selection of New York State wines. We pointed out to each other all the wineries we had been to. Mom was pleased to discover she could get some of her favorites without returning to the winery. I should perhaps mention that many local liquor stores now carry New York State wines. Some excellent wines are being made close to home (well, my home; I guess I don’t know how far away some of my readers live).

And how was Steven’s Black Friday going? As it happens, not too bad. By the time he started at 8:30 a.m., it was pretty much a typical Friday. He and other cashiers actually had time to do some straightening. I understand some shoppers behaved badly at some Wal-Marts (notably in Rome, we heard), but Steven luckily did not encounter anything alarming. He was even able to make it out of the parking lot and go home for lunch. That was one of my main concerns, given my terror of parking lots, especially during the Christmas shopping season (Victoria drove on our little shopping expedition; she has no fear).

So now I guess it’s on to Christmas! Let’s see what kind of Mohawk Valley fun I can find to blog about in the next month.

Saturday Adventure III

To continue our Saturday doings, Steven and I made our way back to Morning Star United Methodist Church in Ilion. At least, I didn’t know which church it was till I looked in Saturday’s paper just now; we just went where we saw the sign that said Christmas Sale, with the magic acronym BOGO.

We parked in the lot across the street. I wasn’t clear on if it was the lot for the church we were going to or the one adjoining the lot, or possibly both. I wasn’t particularly worried. For one thing, there were plenty of parking spaces. For another, church people are notoriously forgiving.

The sale was huge. I think every member of the parish must have gone through their attic or closets and donated stuff. I even saw some garland in its original packaging that looked like it was from the ’60s (at least, I’m no judge of dates, but it looked like something from my childhood).

We picked out a half dozen tins, a couple of Santa Clauses, a snowman and a few more goodies. Every time Steven found something he wanted, I insisted we find something else, because after all, Buy One Get One! We ended up with a boxful (and very grateful to the ladies for finding an adequate size box) for which we paid seven bucks and change. What a deal! And we still had three more sales to go!

Pre-Holiday Rant

Plans are being made. Watches are being synchronized. Soon Black Friday will be upon us.

A co-worker just referred to it as Good Friday. There’s a Freudian slip for you, depending on your point of view.

I was a little surprised when I learned that the Black in Black Friday referred to profit — in the black instead of in the red. I always thought it was a phrase coined by downtrodden retail workers, pulverized by an unreasonably large rush of customers, few of whom exhibit that goodwill to men we’ve heard about. I often want to say to people, “If it makes you so unhappy, why are you celebrating it?” But I never would, because I don’t want to hear the self-pitying tirade about how they HAVE TO, not very subtly implying that I am an idiot for even asking, as well as a philistine (not that they know that word) for even obliquely (or that one) suggesting that they NOT celebrate (I’m certainly not suggesting that; what I am suggesting is — but that’s a whole other blog post).

That phenomenon goes on all season. I was ranting about Black Friday (I had a couple of other Christmas rants in mind, but I just thought why have one blog post when I can sleaze three or four out of the season?).

I’ve been to the mall on Black Friday. In my defense, I was there to work, not shop. I found it scary, which given my Halloween obsession should have been a selling point. The scariness began well before I reached the mall. There could not have been a single car left in a single driveway in the Mohawk Valley! I had allowed extra time to look for a parking space, but by the time I was sitting through the third red light outside Consumer Square, I wondered if I had allowed enough.

I hate parking lots in the best of times. I like to drive in and park right away. That way I spend as little time driving in the parking lot as possible. And I like to get a little extra exercise by walking further to the door. There was no spending little time in this parking lot. Not only were there no spaces, there was almost no space between the spaces because people had added extra spaces where none belonged. I eased down a row, praying nobody would be trying to ease in the other direction, because one of us would have had to back up and I didn’t want it to be me. What a day for my brake light to go on for the first time!

Of course, you don’t inevitably run out of brake fluid on Black Friday. It only happened to me once, and my Dad nicely helped me out of that fix. But you can see why the day might have bad connotations for me.

This rant started when a co-worker mentioned a good price on towels. “Ooh, where’s that?” I asked. She told me where and when, and I said, “Never mind.” Another co-worker wondered how much Black Friday merchandise makes it under the tree — I mean, isn’t that the POINT? — and how much winds up in the purchaser’s closet. I said, “I’ll pay more and keep my sanity.”

Oh well, to each his own, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow. Some people enjoy the crush. Perhaps their competitive instincts are aroused. Or they just truly love a bargain. I know for some it is a family tradition. I say to them, enjoy! If it’s fun for you, power to ya! If it’s not, for heavens’ sake, STAY HOME!