Monday, November 11, 2013

The Twins Go To The Post Office

  We started off our day early on Saturday morning  with a super strong brew of coffee. We had been surprised with several large orders the night before and had to get everything ready to go.  It would not be our usual fun day of shopping on this day.  We were all about getting our orders packed and ready to go.

   Since we specialize in vintage glass, this is no simple task.  We can't just put our items in a box with a little stuffing and send it off.   Everything we ship has to be bubble wrapped to the max, and carefully packed to make sure that they get to their new homes in good condition  We always think to ourselves that the items made it all this time through the years, we would feel terrible if they broke during shipping.  We use a lot of bubble wrap and packing, and this particular day was no exception.  We finally saw the light at the end of the bubble wrap tube around 11:00 am.  We had been wrapping and packing since about 8:00 working together to get all the orders packed, weighed and labeled for shipment.  It was finally time to go. We carried everything out to the car, loaded it up, got our coffee and got ready to roll.

  We headed off to the post office, happy with the way our morning was going.  We parked close up front and start unloading the car.  We were each juggling three boxes and they are definitely not light as glassware is quite heavy. lol.  As we were walking to the front door we notice through the front window that the counter area is blocked off.


  How can this be!?  We had hurried as fast as we possibly could.  They are supposed to be open till noon on Sat, or well we thought they were.  They locked their doors at exactly 11:00 am. on Saturday.

 We sadly made our way with our boxes back to the car and gently put them back in.  Now what the heck are we gonna do?  We settled back into the car and start trying to figure out what we are going to do.  We have deadlines which are mostly self imposed of course. We like our orders to go out the next day if at all possible.

 We headed off thinking maybe another Post Office would be open in another town, however we live in a rather rural area so they all close at the same time.  The post office in the town Mary lives in  is actually open only until 10:30am.  We then remembered seeing Cathy's postal gal on her road earlier, in fact we waved hello to her on our way to her post office.  So the light went on in our heads that we could find her on her route and ask her, beg her to take our packages to go out.

  We headed down toward Cathy's house and passed her street.  About a mile down is the next street and so we thought we would catch her down the winding road.  As we passed  each road we looked down to see if we could see her car and finally low and behold she was in a cul-de-sac.  We had her cornered :)    Cathy got out of the car and explained what had happened and the postal gal said she would be happy to take our packages..........but her car was filled to the brim.

  She rearranged her whole car to fit in our 6 big boxes and we felt terrible because she barely had room to sit in her own car to drive.  It reminded us of Santa's sleigh filled with toys.  She went on her way and we sat back with a sigh of relief. Kudos to our post office delivery gal!  A little gift at Christmas will express our happiness.

  To celebrate our adventure we went to a local restaurant and had a nice hearty bowl of beef vegetable soup and a good hot cup of coffee, some conversation and some laughs.

  We now have the post office hours on the refrigerator.  We have become more wise since this experience.  All in all, just having the soup, coffee and sister time was worth every minute!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Laughing Through The Tears

   We recently took a road trip to Tennessee that was unplanned and truly unexpected.  This time it was not to find treasures, but to say goodbye to a treasure, my sister Cathy's brother Warren.   He had passed away suddenly and at too young of an age.  He was a wonderful man full of laughter and love for others, and he is deeply missed each day.  Grief and shock were our companions as we started our journey South to be with his wife and family.

  Anyone who knows the two of us, know we cover our sadness and pain pretty well.  Usually with silly stuff and laughter. And believe me this trip was no exception.  We thought we had prepared for everything we would need for our drive down to a small town in Tennessee.  We had the Garmen for backup if we got lost, had our coffee (we do not travel without coffee), and a printout of directions.
It did not take us long to run out of coffee.  Sheila aka the Garmen, would not let us leave the state of Illinois.  No matter what buttons we pushed to program it to allow us into Kentucky or Tennessee, all it kept telling us to make a u-turn on the interstate.  What kind of "helpful" directional device tells you to make a u-turn on the interstate!  Isn't that illegal?   We finally decided to scrap Sheila's help, and relied on the printed directions and Cathy's memory to get us there.

  We stopped for fuel at a little gas station in Kentucky.  Cathy fueled up the vehicle and I went in search of coffee. What I found was coffee that certainly had been on since the wee hours of the morning or possibly reheated from the day before..  As desperate as I was, I was not drinking that grog. When I came back outside Cathy said "What no coffee"?
All I could do was shake my head and tell her we certainly do not want coffee from here!

 We decided we would just stop farther down the road for coffee.  When we open the doors to get back in the car a swarm, and I do mean swarm of flies rushed into the car.  We were sitting there in disbelief at how many there were, and then frantically start trying to shoo them out.  We did what we could and then got back on the interstate.  While I was driving the flies started biting my legs.  I am stomping my feet trying to get the flies off of my legs, and the car is lurching forward and slowing to the rhythm of my stomping.  My sister is looking at me like I am crazy or something is wrong with the car and she asks what is going on.  I told her "these flies are biting me" and we started laughing so hard that it just made it worse.  Cathy said "we don't have any bug spray or Lysol in the car, we need a plan."  So she whips out what else, hairspray!   Here we are driving down the interstate with flies biting us and a fog of hairspray as she is spraying my legs trying to keep the blood sucking flies from biting me.  Finally, the flies were done!

  After many stops for coffee at McDonald's and a few wrong turns on 45ES, 45, 45EN or whatever the road signs told us, we managed to get to our destination.  We thought wow, we made it....until we checked into our hotel room.

 Our hotel room was lovely, big and spacious.  We unpacked our stuff so it was our comfy temporary home away from home.  Tired, we decided it was time to call it a night and turned on the air conditioner.  All was fine until the air conditioner went through its' cycle and shut off.  It sounded like someone screaming.  We laughed until we cried. Then the second time it cycled it sounded like nails on a chalkboard. Well, you can only imagine.  Cathy finally turned it on to continuous fan and there was peace.  Around 5 am, the air unit decided it wasn't done with us yet.  It screamed and screeched constant.  Cathy woke up, but did not want to get up to shut it down, hoping I would wake up (NOT). So she got up and turned it all the way off.

 The next day we had a busy morning and afternoon.  We went back to our hotel room tired and very hungry.  At least we had thought to grab some food to eat in our room.  As we settled in to eat our lunch we remembered the screaming air conditioner.  Cathy called down to let maintenance know we had a problem, and before she could hang up the phone maintenance was knocking on our door.  Was this man standing outside just waiting for the call?   Cathy let him inside, and he said "Hello my name is Lewis, and I am your maintenance man".  It was all we could do not to burst out laughing, it was like he was introducing himself at a restaurant "Hello my name is Lewis and I will be your server today".  He was a very kind gentleman who sadly informed us that our air conditioner was kaput, the motor was done!  He also informed us he was going to need to move us to another room.  We were thinking we had just got settled and situated in to this room.  He must have seen the look our our faces and he explained all we had to do was walk across the hall.  He would move all of our things for us, we would not have to do anything but finish our lunch.  Well talk about service with a smile!  We got relocated after a very short time.   Lewis told us if we needed anything, and he said "I mean anything" than please call him because he wanted us to be happy.

  Lewis went on his way leaving us to finally eat our lunch and relax a little bit.  We were trying to eat a little healthier than just the comfort food of fries and coffee, so we had both opted for a fish sandwich.  Cathy went to take a big bite of her now cold sandwich, and splat!  Out flew a big glob of tartar sauce and landed right on to the carpet in front of her.  We are sitting there staring at this huge mess on the carpet, and Cathy says loudly "Oh Lewis cleanup in isle 5".  Needless to say that sent us into peals of laughter.  They probably heard us in the next room and thought what on earth is wrong with those women.

The service was lovely as were all the people who surrounded the family.  As we departed to go back to the hotel, we were sitting in line to go over the train tracks, the train gates would go up and let 3 cars through, then down.  This went on 3 or 4 times and Cathy decided it was her brother playing a trick from heaven.  Oh how he loved to tease her and make her laugh.  And it worked.

  We prepared to leave Tenn with heavy hearts and minds the day after the funeral for our brother.   The sky opened up and poured rivers of tears.  It was like brother was up there, watching us, and said "Okay sissy's, you can cry now for a little while, but when the sun comes back out dry your tears".

Life is sprinkled with love, faith, tears and laughter.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Busting Tar Bubbles with the Twins

We enjoy taking long walks after dinner together, every chance we get.  We both love nature, and watching the seasons change.  And of course just spending time together doing something relaxing is always a plus for us, and a great way to get rid of a few calories as well.

 On one such walk to our favorite little creek close to Mary's house, we had a close up encounter with a beautiful bobcat.  Kind of scary to be that close and not even realize he was less than ten feet away from us. We were just standing there looking into the creek searching for George(a huge catfish that we named), and we caught sight of an adult bobcat, working his way down to the water for a drink.  Talk about a unexpected visitor to our quiet refuge, of course we were invading his habitat.  So we just quietly backed up, and gave him space and he went on his way.

The last time we went for a walk, we started talking about our childhood memories.  We don't share the same memories because we did not grow up together. We were both adopted to different families very young, and then found each other as adults.  So we have a lot of catching up to do.  So we share things from time to time.  One thing that we both did was of course the same thing that kids all over the states do every summer, catch lightning bugs.  Neither one of us had the cute little bug catchers that they sell now.  We used old glass Mason jars. Running around in the dark with a glass jar would absolutely horrify modern parents today.  But yet we had the best of times, and I don't ever remember dropping one of moms canning jars.  We both had sandboxes and good old fashioned mud puddles.  We knew how to enjoy the simple joys of getting dirty and not getting in trouble.  Maybe that is why we both love to play in the dirt aka garden work now.

The one thing that we both do not have in common was tar bubble popping. I knew what it was but had never experienced it.  Cathy introduced me to the joys of popping tar bubbles on our last walk.  It takes a special touch to get them to pop, and after a few tries I was able to get that satisfaction of hearing it go pop. I am sure we must have looked hilarious to anyone who happened to be watching us.  Two grown women in the middle of the road, on a hot day squatting down to pop as many tar bubbles as we could.  And of course laughing so hard the tears are running down our face. And you know what happens when you have tar junk on your fingers and you reach up to wipe your wet face.  You got it.... tar on the face too.  We came back home and had to do some serious scrubbing to get that stuff off,.  But oh what fun did we have on our evening stroll.  And really that is what it is all about for us, having fun.  Just the simple joy of spending time together as sisters and also learning about each others childhoods.

So the next time you get the chance, pop some tar bubbles and feel the simple joy of being a child again.

Till Next Time
The Twins

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Moving Day Has Come and Gone

  We finally got Cathy all moved in!  All of the boxes are unpacked, and the Treasure Trove storage room organized.  Shelving added, room swept, and the TTT radio is in it's proper place.

The last week has been pretty crazy getting everything done, as I am sure anybody that has ever moved knows, nothing goes as planned. 20 years in one house can accumulate quicker than we thought.

 The moving van did not come on the day expected.  My sister Cathy wanted to stay at the house the first night to clean, and of course I had to help.  So armed with cleaning supplies, an air mattress, a coffee pot and her beloved pet cats Lizzie and Felix we went to the new home. We had power and water so it was all good, we however forgot a radio.  All of her electronics were on the truck of course lol.  We cleaned until about two in the morning.

 We got the air mattress all aired up and turned out the lights to try and sleep.  Which even as adults we act like teenagers, talking and talking, and giggling and giggling. And then I rolled over and when I did I bounced her right off the air bed onto the floor.  I had overfilled the air mattress and it was like a rock.  Don't know why one of us did not think to simply let some air out of it, so we could sleep more comfortably. So between the hard air mattress and the cats exploring their new home there was not much sleep that night.

  So now the house is pretty much in order, the furniture arrived and has been put in its proper place. The air mattress has been retired back to my closet.  Cathy and Greg are settling in to their new home and life in Southern Illinois, where the deer play in their backyard and Bandit the raccoon steals bird seed from the porch in the middle of the night. :)

Until Next Time

The Twins

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Twins Together At Last

We are so excited to announce the big move is just one week away.  Cathy is relocating to the same area as Mary.  We could not be happier, we have such big plans for us as sisters, as well as our business Twins Treasure Trove.

I recently made a trip to Chicago to help my sister Cathy pack up what she has of the Twins inventory, wow we went through the bubble wrap and boxes and coffee.  Took us almost a week to get everything properly boxed so that when the movers handled them nothing gets broke.  We do hate those kinds of surprises. 

We are looking forward to lots of fun unpacking and setting up our shop.  And I do mean fun, believe me when I say we can have fun doing anything as long as we are doing it together. Our store has less than normal inventory at the moment since half of it is boxed up for the big move  Once everything is unpacked, we are planning several outings for restocking our online store.  We have been busy working on some marketing plans.   We have recently opened a Pintrest account, as well as Wanelo so look for us there as well as our Etsy store.  We hope one day to have a bricks and mortar store, with a huge window for decorating with vintage finds. 

But most of all we want to have fun as sisters, oh don't get us wrong the business is an important part of who we are, but not the most important part.  We are sisters first and business partners second.   We hope to see you all in a couple weeks with an update on the big move.


The Twins

Monday, January 28, 2013

Spring is Coming

  As we sit by our fires this winter season in an effort to keep warm and cozy, we are already planning our spring adventures.

  This spring will be different from all the others for the twins, we will finally be living in the same area.   Big sister is moving from Chicago with her husband to Southern Illinois. We are so excited we can hardly contain ourselves from jumping up and down and giggling like a couple school girls.  We have not lived in the same area in 47 years!

  The biggest plans aside from our business expansions, will be a big family garden.  Eating fresh food is so important to both of us, as well as providing nutritious meals for our families.  Most people do not know this but we both suffer from Fibromyalgia which makes just simple everyday activities difficult at times.    But put us together there will be no stopping us, not to mention our favorite place to be other than together, is outside with nature and plants.

  We already are in the planning stages of what we want to grow.  Of course we will plant a lot of the tried and true favorites, of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and onions.  Maybe some kale and definitely herbs.  This will be a challenge for Cathy as she does not have clay in her Chicago garden, so it will be interesting and funny too!  She will probably try to make pottery!

  We had a discussion on whether to put hay or straw on the garden.  We found out it is straw we should be using or we will have all kinds of stray grass growing.  Maybe for a smoothie? :)

  Whether our garden takes off or not remains to be seen. We will be prepared for a bumper crop for canning and freezing but even if we only get 2 tomatoes, we were able to spend time together which to us is what it is all about.

Happy Planning from the Twins