Monday, January 31, 2011


As Craig and I countdown the days until we go home, he is busy making those up and down Interstate 5 runs from Washington and California.  They delivered the USF load to Tacoma Sunday morning, and by 11am Sunday afternoon, they had a full trailer of water to be delivered to the CostCo in Mira Loma tomorrow morning.  Then it looks like one more run north, and I'll be waiting for him at the company yard in Spokane bright and early Thursday morning to enjoy four days at home together.

In the mean time, Cori and I have been busy.  Our storage area at the store is beginning to get quite full with items we have completed and are ready to be staged in our retail spaces.  Seems the end of the month, and possibly tax time has slowed down the movement of merchandise at the store, but we are hopeful with the beginning of the month, that it will turn around a bit, as we are anxious to be able to display our newest pieces.
This little gem we found way back in October, with many years of dirt, spiders, and dust bunnies all over it and inside the cubbies.  I spent about two hours scrubbing away at it until it's true beauty was able to be seen.  We're not sure what it was originally, but we put four stubby legs on it to raise it off the floor, and we think it would make a great addition to anyone's home that has a love of all things old.
 Here is a large plastic picture frame that we picked up for a couple of dollars and proceeded to do the same painting technique on it as we did the large mirror frame.  We decided to turn it into a chalkboard and loved the way the details on the frame pop after glazing it.
We had a good weekend picking up some great furniture in need of some TLC and a makeover.  This dresser is one solid piece of work, and very heavy.  We're thinking of doing a fun technique on those side panels to give this piece a new look.
And this piece?  We were told it was a box someone built to place a chair upon in order to make it easier to get up and out of the chair.  We see it as a great coffee table, especially with four new legs attached, and those drawers for storage and the area below the drawer just great for magazines.  We have another new idea to try on this one and can't wait to start on it.  I'll be sure to post pictures of these once we are done.
So enough with the furniture makeovers, because this morning I am off to the hair salon where I think a new makeover just might be in store for me.  Wish me luck!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I've gotten really bad at not taking any before pictures of the projects we have been doing lately.  I guess we are just so excited to jump right in and get our hands dirty, that the thought of taking a picture never crosses our minds, until we stand back and admire our handy work later.  Such was the case with a $15.00 large, very heavy mirror we picked up at the church sale.
In it's "before" life, the wood frame around the mirror was a dark brown, almost black finish.  We knew we had to lighten the finish on it to bring new life to it.  Cori, who peruses the blogs for inspiration, came across one of her favorite bloggers, who was describing a new technique she came up with for painting and distressing, and we couldn't wait to give it a try ourselves.
First we had to visit our "second home" the orange team at Home Depot and the paint department, where we purchased some Light French Gray paint, and a quart of Ralph Lauren finishing glaze that we had the paint guy tint with espresso bean brown.  Armed with our new supplies we headed to our work garage where the rest of the supplies that we needed were waiting for us.
First we gave it a coat of a soft white, then when that was dry, dry brushed on some robin egg blue and a bit of the french gray.  When that was dry, we went to town with coarse sandpaper to give it a nice distressed, old world feel to it.  We topped it off with a glaze of the espresso bean brown and absolutely loved the way it turned out.  The final picture doesn't even begin to do it justice, but managed to snap a quick picture before it was quickly carted off to the store to sell.
I think this weekend, we'll try finishing up a few pieces we have had sitting idle in the garage in order to make room for a few large pieces we have been wanting to work on, but with the weather not being too conducive to large scale painting, we are having to bide our time until it warms up a bit more.

In trucking news, Craig and Roy delivered their load of meat to the company yard in Bloomington, CA where they then got another USF load out of Fontana, CA into Spokane, WA.  They delivered that yesterday morning early, and immediately headed to the Wenatchee, WA area to pick up apples at three different locations. 

 As of 7pm last night, they were at their last stop, and after scaling out on site, found they were well over 36,000 pounds on the trailer tandems, with no extra wiggle room to adjust the axles.  Craig said they were okay gross weight, at 79,200 but that the first place, they had loaded the apples a bit differently, which pushed the rest of their two loads back past the 48 foot mark inside the trailer.  As he was talking to me, their last stop was taking all the pallets out of the trailer, and reloading the entire load back in to make sure they were legal before leaving the complex and heading to the yard in Bloomington to drop the trailer.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Cori and I have been busy this past week, with church sales, estates sales, and thrift store finds.  The garage is staged with quite a few items to take to the store tomorrow afternoon.   Unless we made some sales late Saturday, it looks like most of what we will bring will have to go to our storage area at the store until there is room to display it properly in either one of the two spaces we have.

We've had the most fun, during some of our down time just sitting in the garage talking about our business and ways to find and create new stuff, figuring out how to make some decorating items out of just left over stuff that we had lying around.  We've had some old chunky legs that were cut off of a table that we purchased at a yard sale last fall that we couldn't pass up for a few bucks.  After having them lie around for awhile, we finally screwed two of them onto a wood base, painted, and then distressed them.  We took it one step further, and added a little porcelain, glass, and metal knob on top of each one, and then wraped some cooper garland which we bought at JoAnn's for 70% off, at a cost of  less than a dollar on each one.
We think they turned out just great for a little accent with some height on a table or mantle.  We then looked around and found an old wood frame just being neglected in the corner.  We wrapped some burlap around it, and used the same copper garland and wrapped it around the burlap to create a great looking wreath.  All of these projects were completed in less than an hour's worth of time, and with very little out of pocket costs.
While I'm at it, take a look at this cute little lamp.  Sorry, I don't have a before picture, but it was purchased for $1.00, and had a bare wood base and a ho hum shade.  We painted the base white, distressed it and put a brown glaze on it.  Cori recovered the lampshade with some upholstery material we had left over from covering a chair seat, and added that ribbon with the cute little beads hanging on it around the bottom of the shade and some seam binding tape around the top of the shade.
This week we will start on one of our biggest projects so far, a china hutch which we are excited to get started on and try a new technique on, but before we try it on the hutch, we'll attempt it on a large mirror frame we have ready to work on tomorrow.  I'll have some pictures in the next few days of that completed trestle table, along with a lovely vintage baby crib we gave new life to.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


You might have notices lately, more and more trailers out on the road getting all dressed up with a skirt.  We first started noticing them with the Gordon Trucks out on the highway, and then with Swift.  Last month, when we were in the yard in Spokane, we noticed four brand new trailers parked, all dressed up with skirting of their own.  It's all about trailer aerodynamics.  I think they are very unattractive, but who can argue with fuel savings up to 7% with using them?  I would imagine they will be many more of these skirts showing up on trailers in the future.
In other trucking news, after picking up all the new year paperwork at the yard in Spokane, they once again were given an assignment to pick up apples, this time in Naches, WA and take them to the company yard in Bloomington.  On the way South, Roy had the pleasure of being invited in for a visit at the weigh station at Mt. Shasta/Dunsmuir, CA.   Everything went well, with a new 2011 sticker on the trailer, and they were so close to getting the 2011 sticker on the tractor as well, except for a bracket on the air filter on the passenger side, being about 1/4 of an inch loose from the tractor. 

He wasn't written up for it, but told to tighten it up and if they wanted, come back through for their sticker the next time around.  They would have tightened it on the spot, but with the salt corrosion and rust on the nut, if there were any problems, they would have been placed out of service, so they decided to let the shop have a go at it to tighten it.

They made it to Bloomington on Friday afternoon, and by 3am Saturday morning they were on the move again with a USF Reddaway load headed this time to Tacoma, WA, which by now has already been delivered.  Need I say that their driving hours are just about at zero again?  But Craig will have enough to drive to Ellensburg this morning, get a trailer washout and then let Roy take over to get them to Toppenish, WA for a load of meat tomorrow.  At least they have a small casino just down the street from the meat plant to spend some of their idle time at.

Friday, January 21, 2011


My business partner Cori put out a Craig's List ad looking for old doors and windows recently, and while out and the other day, received a phone call from Vicky.  Seems she and her husband Stanley, had a couple of doors that had been taken out of their home years ago, and that their home was really old.  That piqued our interest, so we made a date to drive to Grandview, WA, (about 90 miles from Walla Walla), to pay her and Stanley a visit.
You know you are at the right place, when you pull into the driveway full of boats and vehicles, and spy an old bathtub just sitting in their backyard with a bunch of other junk treasures.  Vicky was at our door so quickly greeting us, it was as if they haven't had many visitors lately.  She told us coffee was ready for us inside, and quickly showed up to an old shed where come to find out, the doors had been laying idle for many years.
We had to crawl under a cross beam, and lean over an old motorcycle in an attempt to get the door up and out of the shed.  With some effort, and a bug or two helping along the way, we managed to get the two doors out and into our vehicle.  We were ushered inside where coffee and pastries were offered to us by our hosts as we sat back and listened to them try and out talk each other for our attention.  We enjoyed our visit, all the while surveying our surroundings, and couldn't help but notice the table they used to roll their own cigarettes, and the bird called "Cupid" who had pecked away half of his wing because he was so lonely without a mate.
Do I need mention that there was also two Chihuahuas running around under foot?  But while we were there, we were also offered the option to buy an old Cape Cod 1/2 gallon cooler that was in pristine condition, which we accepted, but couldn't help but notice an old vintage doll in the corner, with the most sinister looking face I have ever seen.  Stanley said the doll looked just like the ex-mayor of the city and never failed to mention it to him when he stops by.
We had quite an adventure on our first real picker road trip, with many stories to tell about Vicky and Stanley.  We're happy to say we have another picker road trip in the works within the next couple of weeks with a guy who has a whole barn full of stuff for us to look at.  He has even sent us pictures and we are very excited about the prospects of that trip.  This time of year, when yard sales are non existent, you really have to be creative to find what you are looking for and be ready to meet a character or two along the way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


For the past couple of weeks, whenever we go to the warehouse where the church sale is on Sundays and Tuesdays, I have eyed an upholstered rocker in the back corner of the warehouse.  When I first laid eyes on it, the price was $15.00, and recognizing that the fabric it was covered in was a throw back to the 70's, I didn't give it much thought until I sat in it.  I fell in love with it from that point forward.
I like a firm chair, and this chair had the exact firmness I love for my back, and the fact that it was a rocker was even better.  But what is a girl to do when she lives in a 400 square foot house, and no extra room for even a chair, without the living area looking cluttered?  Every time we went to the church sale, I sat in that rocker and pondered what to do.  Finally, I had to follow my heart, and this morning, with a new price tag of only $7.00 on it, I purchased the chair and took it to Cori's garage.

I've decided, that the first chance I get, and when we start turning a profit from the retail space, I'll hit up the upholsterer that Cori used to recover an old vintage couch we found at a thrift store.  I have already envisioned the fabric I want on it, and will enjoy sitting in it in her garage until the day comes that I can put that fabric on it and take it home with me to Usk.
Oh, take a look at this great wood trestle table we found today.  Won't it look great painted and distressed with a little bench seat and two chairs?  This is just one of the many projects we have lined up to work on in the weeks to come.  Both of our retail spaces in the consignment store were restocked this morning and we are just waiting to have a another great week of sales in what is becoming our best month of sales so far!

On the trucking side of things, Roy and Craig kept that load of meat from Sara Lee in Tolleson, AZ and delivered it in Clackamas, OR Monday morning.  After they were empty, they were sent up to Yakima, WA for a load of apples and then drop the trailer in the company yard in Bloomington, CA which they did this evening.  Then they will have a USF Reddaway load at 3am tomorrow morning and take it into Spokane early Thursday morning.  That will set them up to go by the company yard to pick up the new registration for the truck and some other licensing paperwork that they need to have on board for the new year.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


If I had to rate how our new year is going, with Craig driving team, and I staying off the truck to work on starting a business with Cori, on a scale from 1 to 10, I'd give it a 8.  The only thing that is stopping it from being a fantastic 10 is that I miss my husband and being on the truck with him.  The upside is Craig coming home every 4 weeks, and not only does he get to do what he loves, (driving truck), but I also get to do something I love, scouring thrift stores and yard sales for treasures to repurpose and  sell.  Still.....for the record..... I really really miss being with him, and thank goodness for cell phones!

After delivering the bananas in Clackamas, OR, they picked up a load heading to Phoenix, AZ with seven deliveries on it.  With the driving hours they had available, they would be about 4 hours shy of being able to make the first delivery on time, and when they informed dispatch of that information, they got the canned response of ....."just do the best that you can".  All righty then, full steam ahead, and it worked out that when they left Clackamas, Craig would do a 34 hour restart on his hours, with them sitting in Corning, CA for a few hours until he could start driving again.

Once they got to Phoenix, AZ and made the deliveries, then Roy would do a 34 hour restart on his hours as they waited for a load out of Tolleson, AZ at the Sara Lee Plant.  Craig left last night around 9pm and drove to the company yard in Bloomington, CA where Roy would take over with fresh hours this morning at 8am.  When I talked to Craig he was more than ready to take to his bed and get some well deserved sleep.  If they keep this load, they would deliver Monday  morning,  however, they will be in Clackamas by 5am Sunday morning, so we'll see what the weekend dispatcher has in store for them.

Cori and I have been busy ourselves.  We finally got to work on a piece of furniture that had been in the garage for almost 3 months.  This is what it looked like before:
It was pretty beat up on the sides, with the bottom sides breaking away, so we really couldn't do anything to repair it, so we went to our old friend Mr. Burlap, and covered the sides and did a striping technique on it using the same copper metallic paint we used to paint the dresser.  I think it turned out great, and it now resides at our retail space ready to be taken to a new home.

Oh, see that little footstool next to the dresser?  I don't have a before, but all I had to do to that was do a little brightening of the wood with some Restor-a-finish, and then stencil some burlap and recover the hideous fabric that was on it, and it now has a new lease on life.  If you haven't caught on yet, I have a think for little footstools like that.  I just can't seem to pass one by without buying it and making it over.

Cori and I have about 5 little projects in the garage to finish up this weekend to take to the store on Tuesday, before we start on two very big pieces, a china hutch and that table and chairs we recently purchased at the church sale.  Yep, I sure do miss my husband, but being able to pass the time between him coming home with hunting for bargain finds and then repurposing them is just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


While Craig and Roy stage in Aurora, OR for their delivery at the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas at 5am Wednesday morning, the dress form that Cori and I completed was shipped to her new home in New York City.  Here she is in all her finery, finished and ready to take her place in a trendy boutique on 60th Street.  We are so hoping to get a picture of her when she arrives on Thursday for the boutique grand opening on Friday.
Craig and Roy's driving hours are running low, hence why they are sitting on this load and waiting to deliver it in the morning.  It looks like Craig will be able to get a 34 hour restart on his driving hours over the next day and a half as they have had a busy week since coming back out from home time.  They didn't get any down time after delivering in Spokane on Sunday morning, as they were immediately given an assignment to pick up a load of Tyson meat in Wallula, WA and drop it in the company yard in Bloomington, CA Monday morning.

Then they dead headed to San Diego to pick up a load of bananas which they are still in possession of.  With their hours so low, we can't even guess at what they will or will not get for an assignment once they go empty in the morning.  Roy does have a day's worth of driving left, but Craig is out until Friday. 

While they wait to hear what their next assignment will be, Cori and I will be busy trying to get some of our projects completed as we have been fortunate to have quite a few of our pieces sell in the store this week.  We also scored a great table and 6 chairs for only $30.00 at a church sale, which are difficult to find, since there are not yard sales during these cold winter months.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Before I get into what I've been up to, let me update you on Craig.  As I make this blog entry, Craig and Roy have arrived in Spokane, WA with their latest assignment.  It was a nice and easy ride north from Fontana, CA with little fanfare or anything of interest happening.  Heck, even the weather cooperated with them on this run.  We'll have to wait and see if the weekend dispatcher has anything lined up for them today, or if they will wait until morning for their next assignment.  I do know Craig wouldn't mind a few hours of free time to do some laundry.

Now, onto one of the latest projects for the store.  Thankfully, Cori had taken some before pictures so I can show you what it looked like before we went to town on it.  It's a basic plain table and chairs, with no extra detailing on it.  What's a girl to do but put a little bling on it.  A friend of Cori's husband had donated a box of old vintage door pulls, so we decided to put one on the back of each chair.  We also put one on each side of the apron of the table.  With a little staging, it went from plain jane to the belle of the ball.

Yesterday we spent some time working on a buffet using some metallic paint and on organizing our work area in the garage.  Then if that wasn't enough, we started in on a dress form which will find it's way into a boutique right next door to Serendipity 3 in New York City.  Here is is after we have applied some long forgotten sheet music we have found at thrift stores.  She still needs to get some extra added details, then some glazing, and she'll be ready for her trip across the country to her new home.  I can't wait to see how she turns out!

Friday, January 07, 2011


One of the great things about Craig doing team driving, is when home time ends, we are just 28 days away from another set of days off to enjoy at home.  Much different from when we would be gone for 8-9 weeks as a solo driver before taking just a couple of days off.  Already we are doing the countdown to home time, which coincidentally will fall on Super Bowl weekend.  How great is that?  We'll get to partake in all the festivities that are planned at the club house with all of our neighbors who love to live in our little winter wonderland of snow we call home.

Craig and Roy were given the assignment of picking up almost 45,000 pounds of frozen french fries in Quincy, WA Wednesday morning.  They switched up the driving times with Craig doing the night driving this time out, so Roy started out this leg of the trip, with Craig taking over around midnight.  The weather cooperated, and all that Craig had to deal with were some icy patches on Highwy97, which were dramatically different from their trip on that road, where as Craig described it, "it was like being on an ice skating rink".

Since the french fries didn't deliver until Saturday, they dropped the trailer at the company yard in Bloomington last night, and this morning finds them driving to San Diego to pick up a load of bananas.  But that trailer will also find itself dropped at the company yard as they will be sitting in Fontana, CA tonight awaiting a USF Reddawy load which will take them to Spokane, WA by Sunday morning.

I made a safe journey down to Walla Walla on Wednesday, enduring a couple of patches of light snow falling.  Cori and I have been busy organizing or new partnership and we even got one project done yesterday, a nice little table and chairs which we picked up for a steal at the local church sale.  We were so excited to start, that no before pictures were taken, but I'll be sure to take some pictures of it staged in our retail space today.

In other news, did anyone play the Mega Millions on Tuesday?  Craig and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play, which we rarely do, but I think our instincts were right on this one, since both winners of that 355 million dollars live within 100 miles of us.  We managed to be one number either higher or lower off from the winning numbers on one of our plays.  So close, but so so far away.  Oh well, there's always next time!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


You would think that once the Federal Government has taken your fingerprints once before, (only a little over a year ago), they wouldn't need to take them again, but oh wait, it is a way for them to get money from you, so I guess that makes sense in their world.  A couple of months ago, Craig had to have his fingerprints taken again in order for him to get his hazmat endorsement on his commercial license.  We waited patiently for the letter that confirmed he was not a security threat, and this morning we made our way into the Department of Licensing for him to take his test.

He paid his money, and was directed into the testing area where several computers were waiting, and sat down at his assigned one.  A short time later, I see him back at the counter, and happen to be able to ease drop on some of his conversation with the clerk.  Seems she entered the wrong test on his computer, and he ended up taking the 50 questions commercial license test, (which he passed by the way), instead of the 30 question hazmat exam.  So with an apology, he was sent back in to take the proper test.

Needless to say, he passed!  He got to have his picture taken, thankfully I had just cut his hair earlier in the morning, (or maybe it was a bad thing, we'll have to see how the picture turns out),  and was sent out the door with his new endorsement on his license.  We were especially happy about this, as it adds an additional 2 cents per mile to every mile that Craig and Roy drive, regardless if it is hazmat or not.   Not too shabby a deal in my book.

In the morning we will drive into the company yard where we will part ways for the next four weeks with Craig taking to the road he loves to drive, and I making my way to Walla Walla to jump back into our vintage finds and furniture restoration business.  As I type this entry, it has begun to snow for the first time since we have been home.  A fitting end to our relaxing home time.

Monday, January 03, 2011


For the last two years, over the first weekend in June, my BFF Cori and I have ventured over to the fair grounds in Spokane to drool over all the fun vintage stuff at the Farm Chicks Show.  We admire the women who are vendors and ooh and aah over all the unique and creative items they have for sale, but we never would have dreamed we would actually be a part of it.  Well I'm here to tell you dreams do come true.

On a total fluke, I brought up the info for this year's show, just to see what the cost would be.  Finding it very reasonable for a little 10x10 foot space, I called up Cori and asked her what she thought.  We really believed it was a long shot, but I filled out the online application, along with a description and photos of some of the items we sell, and much to our surpise and delight, we were accepted to be a vendor at this year's show!
We still can't believe that we will actually be Farm Chick girls, and on the other hand, fret about the hard work it will take to have enough product to sell over this two day event.  But we are up for the challenge, and will embrace this experience for all that it has to offer.  We have our work cut out for us and we can't wait to start, over the next 6 months, the special items we will bring to Spokane to sell.  It's going to be a very busy year for us indeed.  Now it's time for us to start hunting for treasures.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


With all the snow the Spokane area received earlier this week, and the below freezing temperatures since, Craig had the pleasure of driving us home on sheets of ice.  I had my customary death grip on the hand holds as we made our way home with a slip and a slide every so often.  Once home, we had to deal with the piles of snow and ice that the snow plow had made in front of our driveway.  Let's just say, the truck is clear of the roadway, but we'll need to do some work to get it back out again.
2011 arrived as expected with little fanfare in our household.  We did hear some distant gun fire, which was not a surprise considering the area where we live.  It was a cold -10 degrees outside, so it was a strictly stay at home celebration for us, although we were invited to several locations for dinner and partying.  We were more than happy to snuggle up at home and bring in the new year from the comfort of our living room.
We both are looking forward to what 2011 will bring our way, with Craig embracing his new team driving duties, and I anxious to begin partnering with my BFF and her retail space rescuing furniture that no one wants.  Craig will be starting his 6th year of driving truck, and in February we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage.  In June, I'll become a Great Aunt and 2011 will bring me one year closer to being able to start collecting on my deferred retirement.
Both Craig and I appreciate all the followers of our blog, and realize that as in life, the blog is ever evolving from what it started out as, with our journeys throughout the US and Canada.  In reality, it is an online scrapbook of our adventures and activities throughout the year, and we are happy to be able to share it with all that are interested.  We wish all of you the best that 2011 can offer.


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