Monday, July 27, 2009

Antiques Roadshow

I was fortunate enough to win two tickets to the Antiques Roadshow in Denver, Colorado on Saturday, July 25th. It was held at the Colorado Convention Center. I took my sister Jackie with me, and we were allowed two items with each ticket. We had a difficult time deciding what we should take, and maybe we didn't make the best choices, but we certainly did have a good time.

We had an entry time of 9 a.m. and were asked not to arrive more than 15 minutes early. We arrived at the Convention Center a little before 9 and were directed to the area where the Roadshow was. Upon our arrival, our tickets were checked, and we were sent on to another person who also checked our tickets and placed us in a long line. The room was huge, and the line snaked around to go the length of the room 8 or 9 times. Now we played the waiting game. At first the line advanced slowly. It was interesting to look around to see what everyone was bringing to the show and visit with a few of the people. Once the line started to move, we moved forward fairly fast until we came to a table where they checked our items and our tickets again and gave us another ticket to guide us to the area we needed to go for our appraisals.

A guide was again with us and took us to the prints and poster area because we each had an item that fit that description. Jackie went first with her World War I cartoon that Darrell had picked up in Texas out of a trash bin. After hearing her story of how she obtained it, they told us about the item and said it was worth about $100. Next, I placed my item on the table for the appraiser to look at. I had a picture that my parents had bought for $50. It is of an angel in a forest with little animals that you could see pop out at you as you moved. The appraisal on this religious picture was $75 to $100, if presented to the right group of people.

At this point, Jackie took her son's machete that had Spanish writing on it to the weapons area. She discovered that the machete was made for tourist trade and was worth $25 to $35.

While Jackie was having the machete appraised, I took my painting, shown above, to another appraiser. She asked me the story of the picture and I explained that in the 80's I had a foreign exchange student from Sweden. Out of appreciation for keeping her son, his mother Anna gave me the picture saying that it had been in the family for many years. It came from Hungary where they had smuggled it out of the country to Sweden during the time Hungary was under Communist control. The appraiser stated that it could be a gypsy, or a picture of a woman attending a special event such as her wedding. The painting itself wasn't high quality, and during a certain period, artists were painting pictures of family in traditional attire. She stated that it could be a picture of a family member, or it could just be a picture they picked up. She said that it was signed, but that she didn't recognize the signature. At any rate, she appraised the picture between $500 and $800. Needless to say, I was pleased to hear that my item was the best we had taken.

We left the area after we had spent over an hour going through the line and getting our appraisals. We had a great time. Now I'll have to watch for the Roadshow to come close to home again so I can try for another set of free tickets and watch for the television broadcast to see what they chose to film. I'm sure we can find some more interesting things to take if we ever have another chance. The tickets are given through a drawing. Jackie and I both put our names in for the drawing. I was lucky enough to win the tickets. I wonder if it will ever happen again.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Some of Our Flowers

We love our flowers. Columbine is one of my favorites, but I can't leave out the Bergamot, better known as Bee's Balm. It's the strange looking flower in the third picture. I love the smell.

This is Yarrow. It spreads like wild fire, so you have to work hard to contain it in a specific area. Both Yarrow and Bee's Balm are herbs that have been used for medical purposes.

Hollyhocks are not my favorite flower and almost impossible to get rid of. They are pretty in bloom, but the bottom flowers die, leaving an ugly stalk up to the top where there are still flowers in bloom. There were Hollyhocks all over the place at one time, and they're still coming up unexpectedly.

The lilies are beautiful. WE have many others that haven't bloomed yet. Maybe there will be more pictures to come.

Our Garden

Here are some pictures of my husbands garden. This is Al, working around the Castor Bean Plants. They'll grow around 8 foot tall before summer is over. The Castor Beans themselves are very poisonous. They're actually used to make Castor Oil.

These are the vine plants: cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe and maybe a squash or two that came up volunteer. They're just getting a good start at growing.

Green Beans, lettuce and we did have spinach here, but the spinach is gone now.

We have lots of tomato plants. We've already had 3 tomatoes from the garden, small, but good.

I do a lot of canning, some freezing, eat lots of fresh veggies and sell extra to customers around town. It's hard work, but very rewarding.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

Before I read The Pact, I read Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. This book was quite different from the second one I read. It didn't bring me down like The Pact did. Interestingly, it's the second book I've read that suggests that God could be a woman, or at least God is as each individual sees him/her.

Mariah (Jewish) and Colin (Episcopalian) are married with a young daughter Faith. Because of the differences in their religions, they don't practice either religion and have not taught Faith any religion. When Colin cheats on his wife, the couple divorce. Faith begins to speak to God and claims that God is a woman. As the story progresses, Faith receives the gift of healing. People begin to gather around her home to see if she will heal them. The father believes this is something the Mariah is promoting and decides to seek custody of Faith.

Mariah talks with Rabbi's and Priests about Faith. Some are believers, some are not. Some accept the possibility that God is female, some don't. Also in the picture is a man who is Atheist, yet by the end of the story, he even questions his own beliefs.

I enjoyed this book because it looked at different beliefs and really gives you something to think about.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

I read this terribly disturbing book this week. According to the author, it is used in schools for reading material. It's about teenage suicide. Rather than a Romeo and Juliet type story, this one is about two families who were very close and always expected their children to marry. Eventually, they did start to date. They were so much a part of each other, people never questioned that they would one day get married. The girl, partly from an earlier molestation that no one knew about, and partly because of the high expectations people had of her, decided she wanted to die. The boy was entangled in the whole affair and eventually was put on trial for first degree murder. Throughout the entire novel, I wondered if he had done it or not. You'll have to read it to find out what happened.

When I read this story, I was a bit depressed, and the story really took me down for a while. It describes kids as they really are and shows different ways that people deal with a tragic situation. It was good reading, but I would suggest that you don't pick it up when you're in a blue mood.