Monday, August 18, 2008

Flea Market Kitsch

One of my favorite things to do this summer has been going to rummage sales and flea markets. The thrill of the hunt for something fun, different and preferably old is what keeps me searching. I often go with my friends Kait or Jess around Waukesha or a bit further to church sales that sound promising. Much of what I buy I don't have to have like the 1970s Look magazines, the white bird planter or the Hello Kitty cup. But, there have been some practical items I have bought for my new apartment like the coffee table whose top I refinished, the George Forman grill and the photo album.

It's strange what a strong effect rummaging has on me. It can be so exhilarating. It has definitely become one of my favorite things to do. Of course, that's partly due to the success I have been having.

There are several people in my life who enjoy rummaging just as much as I do, so it's even more fun when I can go with them.

My mom and I went rummaging when I was a young child. She would circle all the good garage sales ads in the paper and make a list on a separate piece of paper in order of which ones sounded the best. As time went by, she acquired a collection of collectible guide books on Depression glass and salt and pepper shakers that she brought with us on our rummaging excursions. We had so much fun in those days as people swarmed on good sales and car accidents were barely avoided as people quickly pulled out of parking spots onto the next promising rummage sale.

Things have changed a bit in the garage sale world, I think. It seems that fewer people advertise their sales, except for the sign on the corner, and fewer people go to them. However, the number of rummage sales seems to have increased this year in Waukesha.

I hope to get a few more good weeks of rummaging in before the season ends. I still need a VCR. I'm also always on the look out for Vera linens.

I went to the Mukwonago Flea Market/Maxwell Street Days on Saturday and had a good time. It's a mix of new cheap items from China and authentic antiques. There are also a wonderful selection of super tacky items. I took a couple of photos of some of those tacky items, but I wish that I would have taken more. Even the people who go there can be a sight to see. One woman actually wore one of those umbrella hats on her head!

I can't wait to see what I find this week at rummage sales. I hope there is a huge church rummage sale to go to!


"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island and at the bottom of the Spanish Main... and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life."
--Walt Disney

"Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle."
--A Course in Miracles

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Animals at Frame Park

A walk is Frame Park is always enjoyable. It's a very nice walking and biking path that circles around a portion of the Fox River that runs through downtown Waukesha. Along the path there is a flower garden that I have written about previously. There is also a playground, water fountains, a grassy amphitheater, bike and canoe rentals and a baseball field that may be getting expanded.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of walking in Frame Park for me is being able to see a variety of animals, including large fish, great blue heron and many, many ducks. The ducks amuse me to no end. When I walk in the morning, they are still sleeping next to the paths as late as 10 a.m. They are wide awake and quaking loudly at 11 p.m. The ducks are quite tame and will barely crack their eyes open to look at you as you walk pass them in the morning. There is also a variety of ducks, including the traditional mallards and others I can't identify. I was happy to see the duck population rebound after the floods because I saw some baby ducks get swept away in the current.

There has also been a resident great blue heron this summer that lives along the river in Frame Park and can often be seen on the piers. He is quite majestic and is always a pleasant surprise to spot as he sits and preens on one of the many piers.

Here are some photos from my recent walks in Frame Park.

QUOTE: "Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle. Just be."
--Thich Nhat Hanh