I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Busy Weekend and a Memorial Day Moment

My friend "J" and I went to Placerville. We hit one of the biggest Thrift stores in Placerville.
 Snowline Hospice is the biggest Thrift store I've think I have ever been in. It's clean and well organized with very reasonable prices. We were in THRIFT STORE HEAVEN for hours.
Then we got hungry. I don't know Placerville very well and "J" does, so I asked her to pick a nice place for lunch. It would be my treat for her birthday and we were celebrating. So we went to
This is a beautiful restaurant. It's a very old house that has been restored. If you like ghost stories you can read about this mansion and its strange happenings here
The food was delicious. After lunch we hit another thrift store. 
This is what you will need....
These were all my wonderful "finds".
The LEATHER purse, the wool sweater and the shirt were $3.50, $3.00 & $3.00. All the other things were $1.00 each. Oh, sorry.... the little frame with a hand painted picture in it was only $.50 
I looked up that cup on an antique site and found it for sale. They were asking $25.00 for it. I just love it when that happens. My thrifty heart just starts pumping more blood and I get a warm fuzzy feeling all over. Do bargains do that to you too?
We had a great day. The weather was beautiful and cool. The drive on highway 49 was wonderful. Everything was green and the rivers were full.
This was my "yucky" day. The day of eating cookie dough and seeing angry Gerbera Daisys. Maybe I "thrifted" too much the day before.
The grand babies were suppose to come up here. They were bringing Mommy and Daddy with them and staying overnight but they called and said that they had a change of plans.  Too much work and not enough time. We understood... Boo hoo! We made plans to go to Micky's Grove in a couple of weeks. Life gets busy when you have kids, jobs and a house to take care of. I remember this well. It's OK. I will see them next weekend. I'm going down to my sister's tomorrow and I will be there until  next Sunday.
So Saturday was a bust. The only good thing was that I finished knitting my "Andalusian" wool scarf and went to bed early. 
I slept until 9:00 a.m. This is just strange. Got up and had some coffee. Took a shower and The Prospector says, " Did you remember that we are going to Ione?' 
I kind of thought that he might change his mind. I should know better. When it comes to TRAINS, TRACTORS,AUTOMOBILES or the acquisition of GOLD I should never ASS/U/ME that he will forget or change his plans. We were going to take the kids to see the train show in Ione. This show is called the Ione Railfair and Vintage Motorfest. It's sponsored by the Historic Amador Central Railroad Assoc.
The Prospector still wanted to go,so we got in the car and drove down to Ione, about a 20 minute drive west of Jackson. to see the show.
This was a bigger show than I expected. You can see the website here. There were all kinds of antique farm machinery, a few classic autos like a great old fire truck.
...and a model train exhibit.
A beautiful Wells Fargo Wagon that I got to sit in and someone took my picture in it. 
I'm waving from the window. It was very elegant. Wish it had been hitched to some horses. What fun it would have been to really ride in it. There were no windows... just canvas rolls that could be lowered to protect you from the elements. I imagine that this was not enough to keep the hot, cold , dusty and windy weather from making the trip unpleasant but it was better than nothing and, back in the day, folks probably thought this was innovative . Still, what an experience it would have been and it sure would have beat walking.
We found out that the tickets for the Speeders, the individual rail cars that give rides, were sold out. This is a 20 mile trip in one of these motorcars that travels on the old railway back up toward Jackson. This was the first time that they had ever been SOLD OUT. Now I was glad that the grand boys weren't with us. They would have been so disappointed.
 We decided to go on the Skagit Motorcar. This is a 30 minute ride for $3.00  This was like a taste of the longer trip so we boarded the SKAGIT. 
This was fun. We had a very informative engineer who told us a lot about these rail cars. This motorcar transported the railroad workers to jobs on the rail lines. It was very noisy and clickity clackity, but the scenery was beautiful and I saw parts of Ione that I hadn't seen before. When we came to one of the highways, two of the men got out and stopped traffic so we could cross the highway safely.
The driver reversed the car and we returned to the "station", which was really the Ione Junior High School.
We had lunch and bought some Kettle Corn to take home. 
Then we looked at all the old farm and railroad machinery. 
The Prospector found just what he was looking for but it wasn't for sale. Darn! He's been talking tractors every since.
Here are some prices for travel in that fancy Wells Fargo buggy in 1867.

Which one is the model and which is real.? Top left is a little tiny model of a lumber hauler. I thought that was a cool way to show how detailed the models are. The "logs" are small branches.
Finally the "Speeders" came back from the morning trip. We watched them all come into the "Station". 
Each one was unique. Each one is privately owned. They all belong to a club that does these trips on many different tracks that aren't being used by Railroad companies anymore. They maintain the tracks and clean up the litter along the line. Everyone looked like they were having a great time.
We watched them arrive and then we drove home.
Did you know this?
Next year we will bring the Beans (our grand kids) and get here early. I just know they would love going for a ride on these "Speeders".... and the "big kids" too. That would be their Daddy and Papa. This is like" riding the rails" without all the danger... just fun.
We got home and the dogs joined us in the living room for a nap.
Later in the evening we went over, with some cookies, to met our new neighbors. Actually not "new" but this is another story for another time.

Today I stayed home. 
The Prospector drove up to met his brother in Pine Crest, to check out their campsite for their big week this summer. It's tradition. They always go up there to see where the site is that they have reserved..... to see how many vehicles, boats, trailers and tents they can squeeze into the space. 
They said that it was cold today. There was snow on the ground up in Pine Crest.... and  I think there will be snow there all summer. It's never going to stop this year. The fish will be frozen to the bottom of the lake all year. 
But, Oh the excitement. It's something to look forward to. It's tradition. 
I stayed home and cleaned the house, or should I say, the dog hair. Are your animals shedding. OMG! The hair is everywhere. 
Then I felted my "Andalusian" scarf. I bought this old wash board and it has come in so handy for felting.
Rub, rub, rub!! This took about 20 mins. of hot soapy water and rubbing with my hands, another 15 mins. of scrubbing on the washboard and then a few more minutes of hand rubbing. I rinsed it in cool water until all the soap was gone. 
I could feel it tightening up.  I love the feeling of the yarn going from limp and loose to heavy and strong. It's so satisfying. There's something so organic and magical about this process.
It turned out great. I stretched it, shaped it and left it to dry out on the porch.  Now I have to put some buttons on it or crochet some flowers.... or embellish it somehow.

All day I was thinking about a boy named Barney Boyer. He was a year behind me in High School.  He was killed in the Viet Nam War in 1965. I don't know why I thought of him. I didn't know him well, but he was someone I knew who died in a war.... fighting for our country.... no wait.... not for his country. He was fighting to help the South Vietnamese against the NVC.  We were there to support South Vietnam. To fight the spread of Communism.
  Barney was probably about 20 years old. Do you think he really understood all the political implications?. I wonder...
What is a life worth? I want to say that he died in a "just" war, but I still don't think that we did the right thing over there in Viet Nam. We left the country too soon..... or maybe we should never have gone over their in the first place. But , I know one thing for sure. Barney Boyer died and he was just a boy.

I wore my POW bracelet today. It reads Maj. Henry Serex- 4/2/72.  I was 29 years old. I was pregnant with my second child.  This bracelet was my effort to support a war that I really didn't understand. When I look at this bracelet it reminds me that war is Hell on Earth and that there has got to be a better way. Don't you think so too?

Click on any of these photos to enlarge them. 
Talk to you in a week or so..... 



  1. Wow! What a weekend...if I ever come for a visit, you MUST take me to every single thrift store you know! And I'd be more than willing to go poke around all those old trucks and tractors. And who doesn't love model trains! My grandpa used to build them in his rec room...On the serious side...I am in agreement with you about Vietnam and always felt terrible for all those young kids were talked into going over there and then the drugs and horror they experienced and had to come home to hatred and confusion. Yup. war is hell. Good on you for keeping names and faces alive and honoring them in such a simple way. I remember your post about your bracelet. You always have something interesting to say.

  2. Wow, Connie - that was quite a weekend! I am surprised that I have never even heard of the Ione Railfair. I was delighted to read about your visit to Placerville! I have been to Sequoia only once - isn't it fabulous? That old house used to be the Elk's Lodge, and my parents are buried in the cemetery across the street. My ten year high school reunion was held at the Elk's Lodge. So, you got to visit some of my favorite thrift haunts, too!? Love your finds! Hope you have a wonderful rest-of-the-week.

  3. What a wonderful weekend! You have the most interesting thrift shops around you. Maybe it's best that I can't get to them, lol! I'm sure I'd spend my paycheck on all the little goodies.
    The Railfair would be a big hit with my grandchildren, too. I'm sure yours will be looking forward to next year's event!
    A few of my schoolmates went to Viet Nam after graduation. We were at the end of the draft, so not too many were called. Thankfully, they all came back. But so many of them saw things that stayed with them to this day. It was a sad part of history, in many ways.
    I really enjoy seeing what you are making in the felting process. The purse you posted about recently is turning out lovely :)

  4. Stop taunting me with all those thrifted finds at ridiculous prices! You have me drooling! There's a great model train museum in Walnut Creek--I think they're open once a month.

  5. My goodness...your energy amazes me. What a wonderful weekend and I enjoyed the trip to Ione. I would have liked to ride the Speeders...such fun :)

    War is just plain sad. Especially the ones from Vietnam until today. I wish all our troops could come home.

    Hope you have a wonderful week sweetie!

  6. What a great weekend you had. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  7. I thought I'd left a comment here, but blogger must have eaten it yesterday. I just wanted to say that it sounds like you had a fun weekend. Is that cup from Dick, Jane and Sally?

    Mmmm. Kettle corn.

    I'm happy to read your remembrance of the bracelets. I should have thought to wear mine... Very nice.


Please leave a comment here.
I love to hear what you think about my blog. Feel free to speak your mind. Please be honest.., but remember your manners.