Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday's Tour Around Lake Pepin

On Saturday, the Klimpkes and the Fullers headed for Stockholm - Wisconsin for the annual Stockholm Art Fair. We combined that trip with a dozen geocaches beginning in Durand and moving to Nelson, Pepin and in the evening in Alma and Buena Vista Park with a beautiful view of the Mississippi and Lock Dam #4. While geocaching in Pepin we made a chance call to Chris and Larry Haisting to see if they were out sailing on Lake Pepin. They were - in fact, they were very near Stockholm. We made arrangement to meet them in Red Wing for lunch and eventually ended up at Hansen Harbor near Lake City and on their boat for some sailing time. After sailing we drove to Nelson for ice cream and then on to Alma.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Full (er) Weekend

Nora not only survived her 45th HS Reunion but also attending the Antiques Roadshow in Madison this past weekend. 22,458 people applied for tickets. We were part of the lucky 5000 to receive tickets. 70 appraisers examined items from 7:30 am to 6:30 pm. While no photography is allowed on the AR set, we did get a couple of pictures on the cell phone prior to entering the appraisal area. Check the Antiques Roadshow web site after July 20 for behine-the scenes pictures of the event. Here's Nora's account of the Roadshow:

On Saturday I arose at 4:45 AM and hit the road by 5:30 AM to head for Knott’s in Cottage Grove, where Bob was staying. The Knott’s, Klimpke’s and Fullers were at the Alliant Center in Madison by 7:30 for the Roadshow…and there were hundreds and hundreds of people ahead of us. However, the lines moved fairly quickly, as all the appraisers were there early, so they started by 7:30 instead of waiting until 8 AM. The host, Mark Wallberg, came along, and when I exclaimed at seeing him, he came right over and gave me a huge hug! It was so neat!

Arrival - note Knott's poles
Relatively empty queWe saw lots of cool stuff while waiting in line, and the Knott’s were filmed and photographed by AR photographers several times in line, as they’d brought some historical Wisconsin Dells Indian totem pole-like wall-boards with lots of Indian masks on them from an old store that was torn down in the Dells 30 years ago. While the website says you can take a collection, the check-in person refused to consider my carefully chosen box of 12 rolling pins as one, so insisted I pick out one material, so I did my glass ones…but Marty cagily got an extra ticket (since she only had I item) so I could try 2 appraisers with different types, and that worked out great. Alas, I discovered at the appraisals that my rare glass ones have fallen in value, due to the miracle of eBay. Since I’d gotten them for great prices on eBay, I couldn’t complain, as I was still making a profit—I just may weed a few more of them out of my collection, though!
(Several years ago, I’d have done a lot better in values.) My boxes were more positive—my $20 estate sale box (which 8 antique dealers walked past before I snatched it up) turned out to be a Persian lap-desk that the appraiser was very enthusiastic about, while my $12 decoupage Chinese box that has really cool Victorian rooms decoupaged on the inside sent the appraiser into ecstasies—he even ran it around and showed it to several people, as he’d never seen anything like it, which really tickled me, as I haven’t either. It didn’t have a huge
monetary value, but it was so fun stumping the appraiser that it was my favorite moment of the day.

A few hundred people ahead of us

A film crew takes our picture in line...

Bob K. took some of our wood toys, so we discovered the dancing figure Bob found in his folk’s basement WAS actually Hitler and my 50 cent walking figure from a church sale was also worth more than I paid. However, my handmade Conestoga wagon pulled by carved wood oxen was worth the few dollars I’d paid for it, so you win some and lose some (I was sure it was a folk art treasure). Another friend took in my box of better (but cheap!) costume jewelry and we discovered I shouldn’t be piling them around my papier-mâché skull at Halloween and knocking out the rhinestones, as most of them are worth about more than I
paid for them. The appraiser gave me all sorts of hot tips on what to look for when buying that stuff, too—mostly I look for a 50 cent or $1 price tag, however. My big find there, though, was my $1.65 pin from St. Vincent DePaul, which turned out to be real gold and quartz and worth $! There ARE bargains out there. Bob took in salesman sample books from the 1800’s that he’d missed last time, but cagily added the book that was our big value at the last show… the appraiser (a different one from last time) just glanced at his really valuable
book and said it was worth significantly less this time! Maybe eBay’s affected the book market, too. We got to see some really fabulous items while we waited in line…and some that we wondered why their owners had bothered bringing them. (They’ll probably end up being on the show, alas!) We stood right by one of the Keno twins as he did an appraisal, plus watched and talked to several appraisers we’d seen on TV, so it was a really nice day. By the time we left, however, the lines were humongous, so we decided our 8 AM time was the ideal one and we’d really lucked out.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Deck Project Progress

Last September brother Charlie and I removed the upper deck railing and replaced it with a new style. That project continues...
With some assistance from friends Roger and Dick, the lower deck railing has been removed. All spindles from the upper and lower deck have been redesigned, reconditioned and painted, ready for installation. A new set of stairs will be added to the lower deck to reduce the current up and down travel and distance to get from the lower deck to ground level.

The new railing has been painted and the entire deck structure has been pressure wash, sanded and painted awaiting installation of the new railing and steps. Stay tuned...