The weather outside is decidedly frightful.

I’m writing this while tiny ice pellets hit our roof, sounding so merry and twinkly but bringing the threat of downed power lines with them. I do not know why, but the idea of having our power go out fills me with horror and dread. Oh, wait, I do know why, it’s because I have two terrifying three-year-old demons in the house with me and would have no way of pacifying them during the worst parts of the day, the parts of the day when they turn into whirling dervishes determined to do the most damage humanly possible. At times like that, nothing soothes like an episode of Ninjago or some time on the iPad with their Mickey Mouse app. I cannot believe that I have turned into that kind of parent, but there it is. I have. I cannot raise these children without electricity. The sleet started earlier in the day, around 9 or 10, and at 2 in the afternoon, when we put the kids down for their nap, Justin and I walked out to the street to see if it was slick and it was not at all. I then started making fun of the state of Arkansas, you know, because I just spent 17 years in Chicago, where it takes at least two feet of snow for school officials to even THINK about shutting down, meanwhile, schools were called off this morning before any precipitation had materialized and my husband was told to work from home. I got all big-city Yankee up in here and was punished soundly for it a few hours later, when it began sleeting in earnest and has been for the past, oh, at least, five hours. Soon the snow will come, and there is nothing more horrible than a nice three-inch layer of ice covered by six inches of snow. Hello, home, you and I will be seeing a lot of each other for the next four or five days. Which I can take, as long as the freaking electricity stays on, pleaseandthankyouJesusAmen.

What was supposed to happen today, before Mother Nature ruined it all for me, was that a nice man was supposed to come and paint our kitchen/family room for us. I have never, ever hired someone to paint a room for me. I have painted many, many rooms, and have done them all by myself, thankyouverymuch, but this is a big room, with high ceilings, and bumpy walls, and I can’t shake the feeling that Jack would love nothing more than to push over an 8-foot ladder with me on top of it just to see what happens when it hits the ground. And the fact of the matter is, I should probably thank the weather gods, because I had not yet decided on a color. This has never happened to me. I’m pretty decisive when it comes to color — I choose one or two shades of the same color, slap a sample of it on the wall, and make my decision. I had always thought that I wanted a light green color for my kitchen, but after 12 samples of green shades, I gave up on that. 24 sample colors later, yes, 24, I’ve got five colors on the wall and haven’t gotten any closer to making a decision. I’ve got a green I could live with (Sherwin Williams Koi Pond), but that I’m not in love with. We tried Benjamin Moore’s Wyethe Blue, and while I love the color, I can’t see it working in this space. Kristie and Bailey came over, and helped me figure out that the lighter shade of green I had on half of a wall (BM’s Wind Chime) was too light in such a big space with so many windows — it kind of disappears into the wall. Kristie pulled down one of my vintage tole trays and held it up — it’s a beautiful, deep, blue-green color — and we decided to try that out. SW matched it perfectly and I was sold on it for a day or two before deciding that it was just too strong a color. I think I want a neutral for this huge space. And now that I’ve gotten some extra time I think I’m going to check out some yellows. I’ve got a patch of SW’s Blonde up right now but it’s too beige-y/mustard-y once we lose the sunlight.

Meanwhile, everyone in my life wants to beat me every time I start talking about paint colors again.

I did get the twins’ room painted on Tuesday, right before the weather changed, when it was still 65 degrees and I could have the windows open (hello there, Global Climate Change!). It reinforced my idea to have someone else do the bigger room — the walls are SO high and SO rough. It took three hours, and it’s a pretty small room. We used SW’s Window Pane and it is such a pretty color — a really, really lovely blue. It made such a difference in their room, which was previously beige. Next step: big-kid beds. Lord. Kill me now.

So. It being December, there have not been a whole lot of yard sales lately, go figure. I haven’t been doing a whole lot of thrift store shopping, either, because Thanksgiving brought my Mom to us, and when she’s here, I usually try to do all the chores I possibly can — dentist appointments, room painting, etc. I did find this cute Santa mug last week and discovered how cute he looks with a succulent tucked in:

Wouldn’t that make the cutest little present for someone?

What I HAVE been doing a lot is auction-ing. I am hooked. Smitten. I love everything about it — the pace, the competition, the culture, the chattiness, the humor. I bring my iPad along and I am good to sit there for four or five hours. It’s just good people-watching. This past week I went to an on-site auction where the owner had been an avid wood-worker and had an incredible work shop. I meant to download a picture of these cabinets he had but didn’t get to them in time before they pulled them from their site. One was probably 7 feet high, maybe 4 feet wide, and had probably a hundred little drawers in it, a lot like a library cabinet but cooler. Seriously, one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, including the neat cabinets we saw while at Round Top. It was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to the sale, even though I knew there was little chance I would be able to afford it. Every drawer was filled to the brim with nails or screws, and I couldn’t imagine how heavy that thing was. Imagine my shock when it sold for only $300! I ALMOST got into the bidding when it was clear it wasn’t going to go for higher but I had no idea how I would get it home. I would have had to have rented a truck and even then, it was too heavy for Justin and me to lift by ourselves so I would have had to enlist other people…I’m just lazy, is what it is. That thing would have easily sold for $1200-1400 in a store…but that’s the other thing. I would not have had room for it in my booth, so how would I have sold it? The whole episode started me contemplating how maybe I should be thinking bigger. I’m not going to make a ton of money on the smaller stuff I buy, but I buy it because it fits in my booth. Maybe I really should be thinking about moving into a bigger booth? The thought of spending more of my profits on a higher rent bums me out, though.

This auction had a lot of fun things in it, but it plodded along very slowly, since there were so many tools and they were auctioned off one at a time. There was an old shed crammed so full of things it was hard to see what all was there — they were kind of auctioning off things in there on an as-requested basis. A woman had spotted some chicken feeders, kind of like this one:

(Photo courtesy of ShabbyLisaW)

and asked for them to be auctioned off. I was only listening with half an ear, because the bidding went over $20, which is usually my limit. I think she got them for around $40. Later, I was sitting around waiting for them to get to something I was interested in bidding on and watched her as she hauled the feeders out of the shed — by the time she had finished she had pulled out nearly forty of them! I asked her if she had any idea there were that many in there and she said she was shocked. That had to be the buy of the day.

Here was my favorite purchase:

I don’t know if you can tell from the picture but the stools are HUGE, especially the one at the bottom. Over six feet long and over two feet wide — very cool. The smaller one was $4, the larger one, $16. I haven’t decided how to go on the paint yet. I have to go pretty rustic and distressed, don’t you think? I think it would look so cute in a mudroom or at the foot of a bed. I got that planter, an old cabinet door to be made into a sign, and a few old quilts that I shouldn’t have bought — please don’t let me buy any more beat-down quilts. I have enough now. It was a really gorgeous day and even though I was by myself, I had a really good time.

On Monday night, Kristie and I went to an auction house and whiled away a few hours. It was a weird night — really crowded, and we couldn’t figure out why, and things were going for a lot of money, even towards the end of the night, when, by that time last time around, we were getting lots for $1. So, a little disappointing. I acted like a high-roller and paid $35 for this:

Kristie, Bailey and I had fallen in love with it at the preview and when Kristie declined to bid on it, I jumped in. The glass is really old, wavy, and bubbly, and the print is just gorgeous and haunting. I think I will try and find a place for it in the kitchen once it’s painted. I also got another quilt top (I THOUGHT I ASKED YOU TO NOT LET ME BUY ANY MORE QUILTS) and these chairs:

for which I paid the princely sum of TWO DOLLARS. I will nix those broken-down seats right out of there and replace them with weathered clay pots for spring time porches.

I am very talkative tonight. Bad weather does that to me. I am hoping you are all out of it and snug as a bug in your rugs.

Linking to A Living Space‘s Nifty Thrifty.

December 5, 2013 - 10:24 pm

Mary I love your finds! Especially the stool/bench & that framed art! Beautiful. We have freezing rain in Dallas now – I will pray for you not to lose power if you will do the same for me. I think the power company has taken down all the overhanging tree limbs in my neighborhood to prevent power line damage in storms now. We have huge trees in the area. Good luck. Mary

December 5, 2013 - 11:01 pm

Lara Jo Thanks, Mary. I wondered if Texas was getting any of this. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for each other. So far, so good here, although I’m walking around with the flashlight in my pocket and the kiddies are dressed in footie pjs, just in case! Good luck!

December 5, 2013 - 11:45 pm

Shara Today has been some crazy weather with more, more and more coming in the next few days. I know people make fun of us down her when it snows and gets icy, but know you KNOW, don’t you? it is treacherous and impassible. I can’t believe they expect DH to drive 20 miles in the idle of the night to deliver buns to SONIC. Anyone that attempts to go eat at Sonic in this Crap should be punched. Hard.

You and I are going to have to hit up a good old Estate Auction where everything is in box lots and it all sells cheap. I love those kid of auctions. I’m wanting to hit very thrift from here to Bentonville to scour for vintage Christmas so this ice and snow is rally getting in my way. Hurumph. Found a few things at the Salvation Army yesterday, but not nearly enough to make me happy.

You stay safe and KEEP THE POWER ON!

December 6, 2013 - 1:01 pm

Laurie I love your Yankee Snow Snob story. Welcome to NW Arkansas. 🙂

After tomorrow I’d love to go to auctions with you, even if I just watch you bid and help you pack it in your car. 🙂

December 6, 2013 - 4:03 pm

jenny I laughed at your paint color choice story! We’ve been in our house for 8 years now and the walls are getting dinged up. Of course, four kids, and a bunch of cats and a dog will do that. Thinking about color choices just make me want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. I have NO clue!

How are sales in your booth? My booth is 10×10 and it’s sort of slow, especially at this time of year. I barely make enough to cover the rent but I’d hate to close the booth, where would I put it all??

Bad weather headed our way now, and my kids are pass being pacified by the TV these days, but I’d still hate to lose power, because that means we also lose water (well powered by electricity) and 2 non-flushing toilets multiplied by 6 people? Maybe we ought to build an outhouse!

December 6, 2013 - 5:02 pm

Sarah Here I was thinking What the hell does she mean her twin terrors nap? My not twin terrors don’t nap! (Well, one does.) And then I read that they are in cribs still. Bye bye nap if you move them out of those beds. See today’s post about how I am going to die soon and I didn’t even mention that part of the reason is that Samantha dear does NOT relent during the afternoon at all and the very moment I laid down for a second she climbed her bookcase (like spiderman mom!) and then fell down. So yea. That. And also she is no longer allowed to have furniture at all in her. Even stuff that is screwed to the walls. Oy freaking vey.

December 7, 2013 - 6:30 am

Chanelleambrose Wow, it sounds like a mess down there, stay safe, warm and powered. Hey, there is often lots of panic down there for a dusting of snow so some friendly teasing is well earned. No snow in Chicago,just cold as a witch’s…

December 7, 2013 - 9:13 pm

Melissa Dang, is the entire country under a layer of ice right now?! Well, everyone except Florida – Florida can bite me right now! -5 is getting stupid…for real.
I hope you settle on a paint color soon. My walls are WHITE so me and my boring wall color self can be of no help to you.
That little Santa mug is wonderful with a little succulent.

December 31, 2013 - 5:09 pm

Lara Jo Jenny: I am happy to say that I finally chose the paint color and I couldn’t be happier with it. I totally expected to hate the finished results, after so much hemming and hawing, but I loved it instantly — so if you’re looking for a green shade, I can fully endorse Sherwin William’s Koi Pond!

I would characterize my sales as OKAY. I had a ton of Christmas decor stuff in there from Open House (November 22) until I went to take it all down on the 27th; it did really well until around the first week of December, then sales kind of flatlined. After that, I sold 2-4 items a week of varying prices, but nothing super fantastic. I have no idea what December’s check is going to be because for half the month it was great and for the other half not so great! Hoping for the best. Maybe January will pick up for both of us!

P.S. your comment about the electricity affecting the flushing of toilets FILLS ME WITH HORROR.

December 31, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Lara Jo Chanelle — you guys have been getting some COLD weather this entire month!

December 31, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Lara Jo Sarah: Is duct taping them to their beds absolutely out of the question? Because I cannot do without naps. Cannot. Handle. That.