Tuesday, September 22, 2015


The only courage that matters is the one that gets you from one moment to the next. Mignon Mclaughlin

It didn't take long after our Labor Day sale for me to get out buying again.  A short break and I was out there pickin'! There is only a short time frame to do our buying as there are not as many options during the winter months. Estate Sales and Auctions are few and far between if there are any at all! Garage sales are entirely over by early Fall. So you gotta get pickin' while the pickin's good! Winter months are usually spent working on projects like refinishing furniture, repurposing, painting, sewing and more!
So here are some finds that I picked up last week. Lots of blues...my favorite so they seem to stand out to me... and some "rustic" treasures. 

Below are three "clock" napkin holders. Aren't they fun? You can see the ring that holds the napkin in the holder in back. Too bad there weren't  more! You could always repurpose them for table decor. Reminds me of Alice In Wonderland!

                                          Here is a very pretty flow blue sugar bowl. 


And last but not least...this wood swan... a KEEPER for ME! She is already sitting on top of my armoire!

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Monday, September 21, 2015


Oh, how we love pumpkin season! You DID know that this gourd-ish squash has it own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin...we anxiously anticipate it every year.   Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer

I had previously stated that I wouldn't be putting up any Fall decor until we got our boat out of the water. That would be the sign that Fall has begun and sadly, that Summer was over. But we're still trying to get some more "boat time" in and Fall is pretty much here to stay. So I'm giving in and putting out some bits of Fall here and there.

Really this bouquet started it all! ( Now what is that long green thing hanging down? ) Anyway, living here in this mansion and working as Resident Director comes with some fun little perks. See my Plummer House page at the top for more information about our "mansion". Often after someone has a party here, they will bring over some fresh flowers that no one seemed to want to cart home with them. So I end up being the lucky recipient. The flowers above were one such example of this. And it got me in the mood to bring in more Fall decor.

And now you can just feel Autumn in the air. It's crisp air now, not muggy like in Summer. So here are my simple attempts to bring in a bit of  the delights of Autumn.

    After some of the flowers in the bouquet died, I transferred the flowers that were still thriving to this blue Mason jar. I brought out my "mango" colored candles and filled the bobeche with coffee beans.

I also like to add some natural elements to bring the season indoors. It doesn't cost as much and it simplifies things because there is no storing of "stuff" that needs to be pulled out of bins. Simplicity has been my "word" for the year. I continue to look for ways to simplify our lives. So dried hydrangeas were brought in and tucked in between white pumpkins and plopped into my new dough bowl.

Adding natural seasonal decor simply takes a walk into the nearby wooded area and a fun trip to the Pumpkin Patch or Farmer's Market. Fresh air, a bit of walking for exercise are extra benefits!

                                       The squirrels got to the acorns before me this year.

"Baby" needed a new bonnet to go with the season. She is holding a little pumpkin.

Next up: Pull out the sweaters, get out the fire pit, drink some hot chocolate, go to some football games, plan a tailgate party at a football game, go to the local homecoming parades, make some homemade soup for dinner, make some apple crisp with Haralson apples, take a walk in the woods and kick some leaves, go for a ride and enjoy the changing colors, and CELEBRATE AUTUMN!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


                     If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. Napoleon Hill

 Some of my best treasures have been found at Estate Sales. But if you have ever been to one, you will know that there are many others looking for the best treasures as well. So how can YOU get the best deals that everyone wants? I'll list them here, but first it helps to know what you are looking for and what Estate Sales to pursue. When you are looking for vintage and antique items the best sales are those where the owner has been a collector and/or dealer and is looking to downsize or retire and has LOTS to sell. I know that might seem obvious but if you are going to take the time to shop Estate Sales you will want to look for these first and foremost. You will usually find the best deals at the best prices at these sales and you won't be disappointed. Some sales will have only a handful of vintage or antique items and unless you see there is something you really want, you will spend a lot of time and effort with very little to show for it. So you need to find those Estate Sales that have what you are looking for... in abundance. So here are...

 7  Tips For Shopping Estate Sales

1) Find out the sales details of the Estate Sale you are attending. Some sales have you sign up the night before, some give out numbers the morning of the sale, and a few just have you come with the " first come, first served" motto. But most will have a time listed for you to get a number or sign up so be sure and find out what each sale would have you do.

2) Get to the sale a MINIMUM of an hour before the suggested time of signing up or getting numbers. Some get there an hour and a half before the suggested time! If numbers are given out, in some cases they let you get a number and then leave and come back. Others may require you to stay on the premises. But whatever the way the sale is run, EARLY is the name of the game. Remember! The early bird gets the worm, or in this case the best treasures of the day.

3) Check out the photos of the event beforehand. Whether on Craigslist or the website (      estatesales.net is one site ) where you found the information of the sale, there are usually photos of many of the items to be sold. Look closely at even the items in the background of the photos for things you want to buy. List them ahead of time so you can remember some special items you are looking for. Pick out the things that are most important for you to purchase. Don't forget to take your list with you to the sale.

4) Have an idea of where the item might be in the house. It helps to know where to begin looking for that item you really want. When looking at the photos, check out details of the room. You can often discern if it is in the garage or basement or kitchen. Check out the flooring. Is the room carpeted or does it have hardwood floors? Then once you get there go straight to the room where the item that you want the most is located. Sometimes items may be moved from the original picture. If that seems to be the case, go to the person in charge and ask where the item is located. But most of the time I have found the item I want right where it was pictured on the site.

5) Bring a large plastic bag. Some sales will have baskets to hold your small items but most will not. So bringing your own bag to carry those little items will help you to carry more while looking. Bring some paper to separate glass items so nothing breaks.

6) Don't act competitive. Be patient. This is a sale not a "Roller Derby". You don't have to fight your way to the deals. Yes, maybe someone reached an item you wanted before you did. Be happy for them. You won't be able to get to everything you want FIRST. I usually find that most people are friendly and polite. So help keep the experience upbeat and fun.

7) Bring lots of cash! I sometimes go to sales thinking I won't buy anything "big". Then I go to the sale and find a sweet treasure that I want but had not seen in photos and I don't have enough money. They are not going to hold the item for you while you run to the nearest ATM... in most cases. So be prepared, just in case.

And finally, for those of you who don't have the time or patience to go to Estate Sales, let those of us  who DO, do the shopping FOR you. Yup, we do all of this and more to bring you the best stuff and more. We Hob Nobbers will go through all of this just for YOU. You can even tell us what you are looking for and we will do the searching!

Estate Sales are lots of fun but you do need time and patience. So get out there with your list and  your bag and get those treasures!

Warning: It can be addicting!

Thursday, September 10, 2015


A lake is the landscapes most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye, looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.                   Henry David Thoreau

We Minnesotans love our lakes! All 10,000+ of them! We live 30 minutes away from Lake Pepin, a lake through which the great Mississippi River runs. Growing up we had a cabin on the lake and enjoyed a lot of family fun while enjoying the lake. So last year we made a decision to buy a boat... to keep making family memories.  We have grandchildren ages 3 to 18 and boating is something that kids of all ages and all generations can enjoy together.

 One of the fun aspects of this particular lake is that because it is on the Mississippi River which runs from the Northern- most part of Minnesota down to the Gulf of Mexico is that you see many interesting kinds of watercraft that you might not find on a lake not connected to a big waterway such as the Mississippi. Large barges pushed by tugboats are a daily sight on the River as they move cargo up and down the great waterway.

You might also see big paddleboats such as this one cruising down the River, a sight we saw just last week while boating.

In the harbor where we keep our boat there is an old restored Tugboat. We've seen others like this one also cruising the lake.

And on a beautiful summer day you'll see boats of all shapes and sizes pulled up to one of the many beaches along the shore or anchored together out from the beach. We boated to this beach and swam when I was young and now we're back with our grandkids having a blast! We have now had 5 generations enjoying this lake!

This big boat pulled in alongside us on a beach this summer filled with guys having a bachelor party.

Another thing we saw flying over  the lake this summer was a boat-plane. Um, I'm not sure what they are called...

But amazing watercraft are not the ONLY things you see on the lake. Lake Pepin has amazing bluff views that are breath-taking! If you look over the heads of our family boaters here, you will see beautiful bluffs all around.

My husband really got into the "boating thing" when he bought this Captain's hat at the insistence of our grandson, Charlie. 

                                  And of course you need something to pull behind the boat...

We've made a lot of memories on this lake and hope to make many more. But summer has gone by too fast. About this time I'm usually ready for Fall but now that we have a boat I want more time on the water. I'm having a hard time letting go of summer right now...

So all of this is just to say..."You won't be seeing Mums or Fall decor on THIS blog until the boat comes out of the water!" 

Summer....Please don't go!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Be happy in the moment, that is enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. Mother Teresa

So we had our Hob Nobber Labor Day sale over the weekend and despite the rain and heat and crazy high humidity we had an amazing weekend! It was so hot!!  The Plummer House is not air conditioned  and with many hot bodies crowded together, it seemed like a sauna. But that didn't stop shoppers from all over wanting to shop our sale and we are so grateful they did!

We had people from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Georgia, just to name a few different states.  And that's just those who told us where they were from. A couple from Indiana said they plan their vacations around our Hob Nobber sales!  Wow! Thank you! That's amazing to us! And a shout out to the lady who said she wants to be on our mailing list until she goes to heaven. That made me smile also!

We also had people stop in who were just walking the grounds of the Plummer House  not knowing they could get in the house for free. Usually there is a fee to get in and see the house, a 1917 historical mansion. Of course, my husband told them they could get IN for free but they would have to buy something to get OUT! Hah! Always the jokester. 

 Many of the people had relatives in the hospital here and it was a chance for them to get out of the hospital setting and do something different. Here in  Rochester, home of the world famous Mayo Clinic, and now known as "Destination Medical Center", we know that we have "guests" here from all over the world going to the clinic and hospitals so most local  people usually try to be a compassionate and listening ear to those who are going through difficult medical problems either themselves or with a family member. So we are more than OK if they just come in to look around but most often everyone buys something when they see our unique treasures and great prices.

 There are three of us who call ourselves Hob Nobbers (Karen, Renee, and I), but our children and grandchildren also get involved bringing their own treasures to sell and helping out. I took this photo of all our workers before we opened the door.

And below are three of the younger grandchildren helping with the free Starbucks coffee that we offer. But we also had ice water because of the heat and Scandinavian  butter cookies.

And below is Catherine ( and baby ) , the winner of our Give-Away who was presented with a Gift Certificate to shop and was allowed to come early and begin shopping before the crowd was let in. Our crowd this year began lining up 1 1/2 hours before the doors opened. They always appear to be having a good time, joking and entertaining each other while waiting  and my husband usually goes out and  "works the crowd". Some say he should run for Mayor because he loves to chat with ANYONE and everyone already knows him. But his "political correctness" button is broken so I doubt that it would ever work.

 Thanks to all of you who came and joined us, braving the heat and humidity! We hope to see you all again in May over Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


                    "We need to be the change we wish to see in the world."  Gandhi

The winner of our 2015 Hob Nobber Fall Sale Give-Away is....


CONGRATULATIONS, Catherine!  OK, Catherine, I don't have your last name or e-mail to contact you so please message me on my Hob Nobber Facebook page...or my e-mail address if you have it. You have won a $30 gift certificate to shop our upcoming sale and the honor of getting in 20 minutes before the doors open in order to shop and get first choice! You may bring one guest with you.

Photo from our 2015 Spring Sale

Photo from our 2015 Spring Sale

Spring Sale 2015

                                         So what NEW TREASURES  await this weekend? You'll have to come and see!
Thanks to all of you who entered! But no one is a "loser" when you come to our sale because there are so many unique treasures and great deals to be found!

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