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Skateboarding-part 1 1989-1990 experiences. The love ❤️ begins.

Published August 13, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

via Skateboarding-part 1 1989-1990 experiences. The love ❤️ begins.

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Skateboarding Part 3: phase II- resurgence 2017- etc. Old school, new old stock= “like, totally radical!”

Published August 13, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1
Bullet Speed Wheels

Bullet speed wheels made by Santa Cruz. These were ideal for both street and half pipe back in my day. They are 66mm 92A

 

Vision Skateboard deck: Fat Lady

Vision mini-deck: Fat Lady 1989 Mark Gonzales. I believe the blue rails are possibly Santa Cruz. Since I don’t own said skateboard in the picture I can’t say for certain. However, this was the very first “true” mini-skateboard my brother bought me for my 12th birthday. Totally awesome! 🙂 And yes, I’m still searching for this particular skateboard deck to this very day! I never give up hope. 🙂

What was once viewed as extremely unpopular thirty years ago has now become accepted, and darn near a “must-have” in the new skateboarding scene. I speak about protective gear.

The most precious and delicate: your head. The elbows and knees. I admit it: when I returned to skateboarding I didn’t always have the extra money set aside to purchase new skateboarding gear. I returned to skateboarding like I had first taken to it; no pads, no helmet. I skateboarded at my own risk, and maybe not within my abilities being a mere thought in my [then] young brain. I also dismissed a helmet as a potential lifesaver since I was thoroughly convinced I seldom, if ever, went head-first flying off my skateboard back in my day.

I never had an attitude of, “I’m invincible!”  I likely thought since I was getting bullied daily in my public school transfers, then surely showing up at the a$$ crack of dawn in a skateboard helmet would have pegged me for a “retard” and dropped my unpopular status to a new all-time low. The only bare minimal protection I doned was my brother’s hand-me-down Clawz  skateboard glove for my right hand. I never grew into that glove. My fingers barely poked through the finger holes. But I used it everyday and seldom removed it even when school had begun for the day. I really didn’t care about dress codes in school and loathed not being able to just break from conformity; from that cookie cutter mold kids are expected to abide by in school. They may preach diversity and being “you” but in reality, I found it was a contradictory in terms.

Dress codes aside, I never even strapped on a pair of pads. They were bulky on the half pipe and would have slowed my speed to a snail 🐌 pace once on the street and I would have viewed the protection as “dumb” and a waste of money since I wouldn’t have used it.

As a teenager, skateboarding to me was about going beyond my own limits. Speed-wise, my Independent trucks slowed me down more than anything. I still pushed off like a poser since I had no prior street skating experience and very little half pipe as well. I had maybe two or three months of half pipe by the time I quit hanging out with my brother in 1990. He sent me on my way with zero street skating experience. I was bummed out 😔 (depressed).

What began with enthusiasm turned into a lonely progression in my teenage years since I was also without my skateboard mechanic: my brother. At 13 I knew nothing of cleaning/ greasing bearings so the shields won’t wear out entirely. Speed rings… Come again? Those little tiny frustrating “rings” that just dropped out of my wheels need to be cleaned and oiled again?!

I did my best and enlisted the help from my stepdad who mixed graphite flakes and Vaseline together and helped me clean the shields, bearings, and it took us two or three hours to re-assemble. It didn’t lessen the annoying squeak my wheels produced.

New Old stock vs. New protective gear: worth it or leave it in the past?

 

rectorpadsblue clawz gloves

In the fall of 2017 I was a housekeeper. And every day I always pushed my cleaning cart by a skateboard kiosk, when one day, something familiar caught my eye. No, not a spill. Not a discarded candy wrapper, not even a black spot.

Jim_Phillips_screaming hand

“Screaming hand,” I murmured to myself. I snagged my spray bottle and cleaning rag and sauntered to the nearest trash can lid and began to spot clean the mirror surface. The skateboard was popsicle shape, not old school re-issued. A slight frown crossed my face. It was definitely Santa Cruz. I was very familiar they were also a surf board manufacturer as well. I always associated this company with the best skateboards money can buy. I also remembered my first Vision deck from years prior. Fat lady’s image never left my memory. I often wondered had my board survived all those years, or had the neighbor kid I traded it to, destroyed it?

Little good thinking of the regret I did would do me. Screaming hand was still there. Every day he’d get overlooked, except by me.

I turned down the radio chatter on my walkie-talkie, and taking a huge leap of ‘on-the-clock’ no-no’s, I had to inquire about the price.

Screaming hand was so iconic for me. It was like getting up close to a new vehicle and having the dealer welcome you to try it out and see if it suits you. A similar scenario unfolded for me. I wanted to go back: to re-visit a happier chapter in my life.

Without a doubt I knew the Fall of 2017 was the right time to take up an old love of mine. I never doubted I couldn’t still do it. I just had been skateboard-less for many years since me and “Big Bertha” parted company in 1993.

$185 for Screaming hand. He was pre-built. As time and money allowed, I bought a set of Spitfire wheels. Screaming hand was “my board”. I sat down on it, the kids gathered around and asked me questions about skateboarding. I was in uniform, and happily answered their curious questions. Young kids nowadays can’t comprehend what it was like back then. I did my best to explain skateboarding in simplified terms. I wasn’t budging from Screaming hand. A few of the kids all-of-the-sudden hounded their strapped-for-cash parents to buy them that particular board, the one out of several that appealed to me.

Before any of the parents could cave to the pressure their kids exerted on them, I contently shot the owner my reply; “sold” and I bought a layaway hold on Screaming hand and paid it in full in three installments. I slaved at my new housekeeping job. I also worked a second job to compensate. I was going to be Independent, just like a set of old 1980’s trucks the owner had scrounged up and I later wound up putting on one of my self-assembled decks of which I later sold.

Then came the pads: a new set. They get me by, but they shift on me. Any smaller and my circulation would be compromised. Given time though I would find what I wanted and needed all along: New Old Stock.

What was the best skateboarding gear in the 1970’s throughout the early 1990’s?

Rector. And say goodbye to swellbows.

And there was Pro-Tec. And more lesser-known skateboarding protective gear too. I recall vividly for me and my brother it was Rector. My brother had the blue set. I found both colors on the ‘bay recently along with an NOS Rector helmet.

It works…. kind of. The helmet fits great. The Rector pads are victim of time, sadly, and natural deterioration due to the age of the lining. To remedy the ‘rub off’ I cut up an old pair of shocks and pull those on over my knees before doning the old gear. The small pads, ha!! I laughed. They fit me like a dream! The new scent clings to them and the plastic cups seem to be in as good of shape as any for its age. Mind you, this is likely 30 ++ years of being in storage from some closed up skateboard shop somewhere. And there are no warranties, no returns of any kind. No nothing.

There are skateboarders who use old stock daily, if not, then whenever they can. I can’t vouch for any durability of this old gear, so if in doubt, buy new gear. I fall in that “one small size doesn’t fit all” category. But the initial test runs are still to come. I don’t skateboard for speed. I’m not about to bail on my board on a slab of concrete in a pair of old stock Rector pads just to see if they’ll hold up. And I’m not about to ruin a good pair of $1 matching tube socks. 😂 lol! But I’ll return with my verdict if Rector is a ‘go’ or a ‘leave ’em in the past’ blog post. Thanks for reading, liking, blogging, posting, etc. I always appreciate it and any comments always welcome!

Skateboarding-part 1 1989-1990 experiences. The love ❤️ begins.

Published August 9, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

Well it’s been forever since I was able to publish on here like I used to. A lot has happened, and I do apologize if I haven’t kept up on comments, blogging about antiques, etc.

Since I last left off, I moved out of my little money pit. I’ve got a secure job, but it has its share of new stress. I’m not complaining. I love working. I enjoy staying late when asked. It helps my nest egg I just started on.

Oh, and my old passion has resurfaced with vigor; skateboarding.

Before I break out my tube socks, let me state: I’m from the old school. I graduated top in my class from “Hard knocks”. 🤓

No, I’m not a cement-eater, although I’ve had my fair share like the skateboarders before me, of taking their falls. One of the first things I learned at 12 years young was practicing taking falls, tumbling off of my [then] brand new fat lady Mark Gonzales mini-deck. My older sibling taught me fast that summer of 1989. I was the first crash test dummy to test out my sibling’s newly constructed plywood half pipe. It was a blast! I loved the half pipe once I got the hang of it. The many hours of practice… that was a grueling, tedious, exhausting experience, but by midnight going into the wee hours of the next day was worth it. Me and my new mini-Gonzales were both broke in. Ha! 😁

The most exciting experience I’d never be physically capable of attempting again was pulling off a mid-air twist, crouched on my board with my eyes partly closed likely from fear and this sudden rush of intense excitement at the same time.

The take off was very happenstance. I didn’t plan on pulling off this mid-air turn and minutes are actually seconds when me and my board went high up off the half pipe and that famous saying popped in my little head; “That’s one small step for man, one  giant leap for mankind,”

I not only astounded my brother, but the two neighbor boys that came over the same day to ride the new half pipe. And in the process I managed to literally astound myself.

And clank! Clank! The new Bullet speed wheels came down hard with a fierce aftershock that rippled through my half pint frame violently. I landed safely and very carefully had to pry my tiny fingers from my new rib bones (grip rails) screwed onto the underside of the deck. Very shakily I stood up from my crouching position. I just pulled off an amazing feat; my new position was “crouching “. I dubbed my new trick; “the ballerina twirl”. I never again tried mid-air turns since I was half pipe skateboarding without proper protection, for one. Secondly, I went at it with no knee nor elbow pads. My brother’s skateboard gear was way too big on me. And I ditched the dirt bike helmet early on the same day after our first trial and error sessions.

You “drop in” on your parents…

I never called it “dropping in” when skating a half pipe . We called shoving off a “nose dive”, likely in reference to the aerial maneuvers of war planes from both past World Wars. We wanted something aggressive-sounding, very edgy and unique and the term, “nose dive” fit for me. The term “drop in” is a new term for another skateboarding era I’m not familiar with, although “drop in” does go far back to 1980, from what I’ve researched thus far. How the skateboard terminology skipped me is a mystery of this great universe.

“Protection in the beginning for my pint-sized self was…”

We had several test runs/ fittings since my older brother couldn’t find any child-size, nor even itty bitty adult-sized small skateboarding gear that wouldn’t be huge on me.  And all he owned were adult large and XL Rector elbow and knee pads, no helmet to my recollection as these were considered “lame” back in the day to wear and you’d be laughed right off the half pipe. Helmets were cumbersome to don for hours at a time and the sweltering heat buildup would make you sweat a river. So we improvised before I ever took to the half pipe for the very first time.

My brother and I found one of my uncle’s dirt bike helmets: glitter red in color with a black diamond pattern, very late 1960’s/early 70’s design and style, but eh, this was the late 80’s: a time of “use what you can scrounge up”.

The blue glitter helmet of similar style and design was way too big for my tiny pin head. We found the helmets discarded in a shed of junk at my grandmother’s house. The lining was shot and rotted, cobwebs galore, we brushed those away and vaccumed out the selected helmet. This was a hoot! But my brother and I had such a blast during the final construction phase of his brand new first built half pipe. Oh, and the weather was sweltering hot! I don’t recall the heat index, but I chugged so many New York Seltzer peach-flavored sodas (the Dom Perrigon of all brands of soda pop in 1989-1990), that I swore I had a sugar high for the next week.

And us being typical improvising, clever kids, my brother took safety to a new level: we tried to use grandma’s favorite hot pads as a helmet liner. Well, we couldn’t lie although we tried. Grandma discovered what we were attempting to do outside, and she wasn’t happy that we outright lied 🤥 about ‘borrowing’ her favorite hot pads as our first ever improvised helmet “padded” liners.

My initial reaction to the cumbersome dirt bike helmet: It bonks. The hot pads slid down obscuring my sights. I was blind. I can’t see my new Vision Gonzales mini-deck… help! ha, ha. I can feel the half pipe below my feet as I stumble around aimlessly like a blind-folded birthday kid ready to hit a pinata full of candy and other sweet goodies. My brother roared with laughter. He’d been skateboarding since 1986 and was all- too-used to the half pipes made of plywood. This was long before the invention of city skate parks which are, in my humble opinion, very poorly designed, not thoroughly planned out well at all, and the metal constructed half pipes in a skate park are death traps waiting to happen, and broken bones and other sustainable injuries to give skateboarding an even more notorious reputation.

It was no time like the present to break in my new Vision fat lady. My new skateboard deck plus the components (all bought separately) cost my dear brother a large amount of money to buy me for my 12th birthday gift. What I didn’t know at the time was that he let me choose all of the accessories, but never let on that I was selecting my very own special gift.

I knew nothing of skateboarding at 12 back in 1989, but I was a very fast learner. My thoughts back then were, “I’m a girl. I’ll get laughed at.”

“I’ll be the laughing stock when I do enter a public school setting and the kids find out I do skateboard.” The opposite to this was true. They were actually amazed, but I wasn’t laughed at until I moved to Podunk towns and attended public schools there.  I was a prior learning disability student with no freedom while in school. 1989 was the year that marked my official freedom at long last and I was ecstatic! 😁

We lived in restricted times in the late 80’s. The late 80’s were from my {then} kid memory: turbulent. We had some family strife brewing like a dark storm; the beginning that would test us religiously, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Was I ready for my adult responsibilities that lay ahead? Nope. I blazed my own trail. I rebelled silently through my skateboarding, I threw caution to the wind with old rock music that I happily adopted as “my own” in 1989.

I discovered Anthrax.  No… not the mad cow disease, Heaven’s no. The thrash band, Anthrax. State of Euphoria 1988 and Metallica And Justice For All 1989 became the sound tracks of our youth. I doubt the lot of us cared what our parents thought of it. We were trying to establish our own identities around this time frame. I wore my favorite pair of bleached out peach Converse high tops with silver duct tape holding the soles together. My shoe strings were a dirty neon yellow; faded and well loved. I refused to ditch my high tops for my 5th grade class picture and proudly showed them in the picture much to the photographer’s dismay and frustration with my stubbornness. I wore my black Swatch watch too. I was entering my “black attire” phase at 12. I loved black nail polish. Wet n’ Wild only made black nail polish. They didn’t make any black lipstick to my knowledge at 12.

Santa Cruz screaming hand is a new iconic figure, and one that years later, is never far from me. In my thirty years of skateboarding I’d never again find  another fat lady mini-Vision Mark Gonzales like I first had at 12. And at 16 years old, I stupidly traded it for some rock music pinups. So me and my first skateboard traveled far. Wherever I went, it was my true companion. I rode the devil out of that skateboard. I had Independent trucks: riser pads Independent, White Powell Peralta rib bones, and turquoise grip tape covering fat lady’s scantily clad top  image. It was censorship according to my mother or else she’d make me get rid of my new skateboard.  My dear brother outfitted my new deck with Bullet Santa Cruz 66mm, 92 a speed wheels for both street and half pipe use. The bearings may have been made in West Germany, no frills, no awesome neon colors. Just plain silver shields. Abec rating was unknown to me. They got me to where I wanted to go… at snail pace speed. Ha, ha! 😁🙃

My mother preferred I didn’t skateboard. She constantly took it away (groundings were commonplace), and skateboard confiscation was no exception to a lot of 80’s parents. I didn’t yap on the telephone so my mother  couldn’t take away that privilege from me. Skateboarding was/ is still my passion. I never learned any tricks. I promised my mom I’d never Ollie, and never attempted it. I wasn’t good at skateboarding, I just did what came natural to me. I learned really quick how to skateboard on the sidewalk and sometimes, street whenever sidewalks weren’t there.

Sure, we all take a few spills given any physical activity. That’s how you learn. Thankfully I never broke a bone. I learned to take my falls. I’m sure I skinned my knees back in the day. I recall hurting myself far worse on an adult-sized mountain bike and seldom rode that. I preferred skateboarding to bicycling anyway.

Being a girl skateboarder in a male dominated pastime made me a loner. In public school I was a looser, a poser, a (______) fill in the blank with choice labels. But I was never a delicate snowflake, far from it. I was a little spitfire and something my straight laced peers didn’t identify with nor comprehend. That was fine by me. I never set out to rise to the level of “Miss Popular” in school. Yuck!

I liked skateboarding alone as a teenager. I didn’t like Chatty Cathys or jabber jaws following me. Just give me a stretch of even pavement and I could entertain myself for hours! Back in these days I never owned the luxury items; a skateboard helmet, good pair of gloves designed for high impact skateboarding simply because finding them in my small size was non-existent, for one. Two, no skateboard shops anywhere within a 100 mile radius of the Podunk towns I lived in, either.

I cherished my older brother’s hand-me-down right hand Clawz skateboard glove until the day came I traded it off along with my beloved Vision Gonzales fat lady mini-board. I’d never receive the chance to own a new old stock set of Clawz until 2018. And as fast as I could find them, I’d happily buy out the seller.

I discovered old stock Rector gear from 1977 made here in the USA and never wanted to don unbranded Chinese-made crap pads again.

The Riot Streetwear Rector 80’s gloves I tried recently (and love) passed many vigorous trials and errors I put them through on and off my skateboards. The Rector gear old stock from the 80’s gets high recommendations from me. They hold up well under normal skateboarding conditions.

1980’s Clawz gloves are very true to size and they are suede leather, minimal padded gloves, used for half pipes and street skateboarding. They are great for Fall skateboarding, and very useful gloves to own.

Rector gloves are extremely small. Sizes are accurate. I’d recommend ordering one or two sizes up. Rector street riot gloves come in finger-less variety and thumb protection. They are very versatile for other purposes like bicycling, weight lifting, hanging from monkey bars, etc.

My work nowadays is extremely hectic and stressful. I try to skateboard whenever I can nowadays. I’m still very passionate about skateboarding, however, I don’t readily agree with how the trend in skateboarding has become in the recent years as wrongly portrayed as this: “disrespect”, “break the law”, “skateboard out in the middle of a busy street near dusk wearing all black on a longboard” kind of scene that’s popular in my neck of the woods lately. I’ll stick to my tube socks and Rector gear, thanks very much. Yep, I’m a geek, but oh well. 🙂

Stay tuned for another 1989-1990 skateboarding installment from my youth. Thank you! Comments always welcome. Take care fellow bloggers! 🙂

“For Propaganda Only… a night of fun, wine, and…”

Published April 22, 2017 by AntiqueMystique1

“There’s a lot of ‘girlie’ stuff going on out there tonight.” A co-worker gave me the vague lowdown at the start of my shift.

 

Sounds interesting. I think to myself since I’m a woman and I’ve never attended one of these ‘women only’ events in my life so this was a first for me.

 

I work my butt off and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be working full-time. I don’t mind making up my holiday hours on my days off. I’m very flexible and dedicated when it comes to doing that. And hey, those sick days are hellish to muscle through, but I’ve had to work through them, no exceptions. I only missed two days thus far. Once due to a fever and the other due to a serious bout of the ‘three week crud’ whereby it actually lasted me from Thanksgiving Day until the end of February to fully recover from. The second go around I believe I contracted from god only knows where, but it wasn’t as bad and my sore throat has finally diminished as of today.
Now with Easter behind us I was bummed out. I missed attending church due to my sore throat. I missed out listening to the parables about how Christ has risen. I would like to enjoy a balanced religious life again, but that’s not going to happen for me anytime soon. Before I was working full-time I was all set to serve as communion assistant again and had to forgo that once I took my second job. And to that I remind myself, Peace of the Lord be with you always.

 

But I don’t hear “And also with you!”

 I simply carry on about my work.

What do I miss most about having to completely forgo my church attendance? Serving as Communion assistant, of course and being seated in the pews for second service!  I loved every aspect from assisting the pastor with communion to attending church and being a parishioner. And since I was so dedicated to doing the Lord’s work prior to finding full-time employment, I purchased my own communion assistant robe and had to have it altered and hemmed to fit my petite slender size since the adult communion robes didn’t fit me. And the acolyte robes for the teens were slightly different in style and none of those fit me, either.

Plus I take great pride owning and donning something sacred and holy. Now the cinctures I made myself and I put three Franciscan knots on them. They represent the three sacred vows: poverty, obedience, and chastity. And here now years later, I’d have to undo one of those three vows… err, knots. I’m not wealthy, by the way, far from it. I’m able to get by on the ‘average’ wage-earner’s income.

Okay, now what’s been happening lately with me aside from working full-time? For starters I helped clean up after a ‘For Propaganda Only’ night and it was a mess of spilled wine, confetti, trash, business cards, food, crumbs, and I had a terrible time getting squeegee machine to the opposite side of the building. It was the “Night of the loiterers.” They see me and keep right on standing around even after I politely tapped the horn. I need to move it or lose it. I have three entry ways to wash and I have less than an hour to complete that, drain and plug in the machine, head over to restrooms and clean those yet. And I have to empty eight trashcans and let the other twelve slide. So, yeah, I have a lot to pack in before I clock out and go home. I’m patient and politely allow the people to leave, then I proceed on.

Had I been off work then I likely wouldn’t have attended this event. Why’s that, you might ask? Well, for starters the tent cards I would clean around for the past month or so on a daily basis leading up to this event were (and likely always will be) a bait and switch kind of event, if not, lacking straight forward information as to what the event was all about. I like to read about specifics of upcoming events whenever possible so there won’t be any possible disappointment or a waste of my gas and money.

I did enjoy seeing the place absolutely packed. I’m always willing to be the first to drop what they’re doing and offer assistance when it’s needed. And I’m also a good listener, too and love to socialize.

But something is severely lacking with the title ‘For Propaganda Only’.

I’m the very curious type of individual, especially when there’s a big ‘to-do’ event happening and I’m right there experiencing it. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about, so I made haste with my cleaning cart before I had to return to my trade-off area for the evening. I relieved my fellow co-worker from the ‘same old-same old’ routine just like we had agreed on the night before.

And what did I see at these tables that were setting up? Was it anything taboo? Anything that would knock my socks off? Anything risqué?

Kind of ‘yes’ plus a ‘no’ because it was more ‘job fair-ish’ like type of an event. There was one career/ job opportunity table set up for the local hospital. When one of the workers saw me wander up in my uniform, joined at my slender hip with a Walkie talkie they dully, (almost to the point of now being annoyed by my presence), asked me if I was even remotely interested in a career at the hospital. I gave the bored worker a quick glance in the eye and very politely told them, “No, I was just curious to know what you have here.”

I was waiting on a large throng of people to disperse so I can maneuver my cleaning cart through the building. The worker shoved a sticky note booklet with the hospital’s name on it in my hand just to get me out of their sights.

Gee, thanks. And then they chatted it up with a herd of women that sauntered up to the table. The worker’s tone was cheery and outgoing to them. Seesh! I think to myself. Whatever

Next table: Hazardous Materials Dump-off location. Oh, yeah, baby!

Seriously?! We women are supposed to find this under the category: night of fun per the vague description on the table tent card?

Well, then if dumping off half-empty dried up paint, empty bleach bottles, and a fridge with free-on on a sweltering summer day in a vehicle that has absolutely no air conditioning is in the neighborhood of awesome avenue and oh boy this is fun! Cul-de-sac, then forget it. A Hazardous Waste drop off location doesn’t convey in my mind as being anything remotely… err, *ahem*, for women only. It sounds very manly if you ask me. The unattended table displayed pencils, fridge magnets with the location’s general info, and a few scattered leaflets about different types of hazardous waste materials and how to transport them to the hazard waste building.

 

Next table was selling tank tops with such phrases as “Tattoos and Whiskey makes me frisky!” Okay, I’m giving that tank top careful scrutiny with a very bored look crossing my face. I don’t find tattoos nor whiskey even remotely playful. My mind views both as unattractive nowadays. I’m attracted to the very sexy clean cut type of man nowadays. He’s got to above all have a job. And where the attraction for me lies is to his level of intelligence, wholesome in appearance and wearing a uniform is a plus. That aside, I have tats and I’m scraping money together to get mine removed someday so I can feel like a beautiful woman again. I won’t have flawless skin I realize this and I don’t, nobody does, but to have my teenage mistakes laser removed for good will give me a huge boost in my confidence and make me feel great about myself again.

My eyes fall on another tank top that stated something to the effect of, “I’m cute, cuddly, and out to destroy, so back off, you (explicative).”And there’s a depiction of a kitten on said tank top donning boxing gloves. Uhn, okay… moving along.

The wine flowed at this event. The women buzzed around these tables getting wasted while snacking on the BBQ handouts, partially genetically modified ingredient-filled crackers and maybe some cheese bites thrown in.

Snacking… pity for me. I don’t get my thirty minute lunch until two hours later. I don’t get to snack on the clock, period. And this could account for a lot as to why I don’t get the balanced nutrition my body demands. It isn’t so much the physical demands of the job per se, it’s just that snacks aren’t allowed on the floor. Once you clock in, that’s it. Sure, you can guzzle water or soda your entire shift, but that’s it.

For me being a partial Vegan (since I still consume eggs which is vital for my protein intake), and full Vegetarian my body requires a regular intake of healthy snacks here and there since I no longer consume meat, chicken or fish to get a balance of protein into my diet.  My body craves nutrients and I understand this is extremely vital if I’m going to continue to have the endurance to perform my required job duties.

But I try not to think of my fruit and hard-boiled egg waiting for me in my lunch bag. I move along. I had some Bob’s Redmill oatmeal and Chia seeds before I left the house, but that was several hours before I had to clock in.

The first time I had a cold and sore throat was killer on me and the stress my body was under with moving and selling the old place I was in, boy howdy, I don’t know how I managed to bounce back and it took me three months to fully shake whatever I had. I never saw a doctor because I don’t have one, for starters. Secondly, I don’t like seeing doctors almost as much as I dread making a ‘yearly’ with my canoe inspector no matter how handsome they may be. They didn’t have any canoe inspectors at this event, by the way but the mainstream health care field flooded several tables with that darn pink ribbon and Aflacc (the bare bones crappy ‘liability’ coverage of health insurance) and offered free pens with the breast cancer awareness ribbon fused to them. What a good way to ruin an otherwise enjoyable evening for women in my eyes. I don’t see anything ‘fun’ about seeing cancer awareness this, and HPV/ preventative cancer vaccines for children and teens, what every parent needs to know, skin and colon/rectal cancer—please! Key words they used for HPV has no symptoms, and sometimes it doesn’t have to be spread through intercourse. Eh, somewhere along the way I suppose ‘sexual’ became too wordy so the editors elected unanimously to just drop it. I am so cranking out my sex ed field manual from 1989 when I get home, oh man!

HPV is like the Twenty-first generation’s new potentially deadly virus much like HIV/AIDS was back in the mid-80s when it had a trickle down effect, and by the dawn of the early 90s it was quite frightening to think of having sex with the opposite sex back in my day.  And it brought new unwanted worries and stress and mass confusion since clear and concise knowledge about the history of HIV/AIDS was still being documented and the facts were lost in a massive sea of ‘still in the dark’ information from my [then] thirteen-year old perspective at the very start of my own lone, rough, dark adolescent journey.

In retrospect, I thank the good Lord above we had no mandated preventative cancer vaccines growing up, including all of the other new vaccines that contain questionable ingredients and likely come with a host of long-term dangerous side effects more than likely. If it won’t kill ya’ now, doesn’t mean it won’t unleash something that could be linked back to it fifty—maybe even sixty years from now.

On another table a creepily familiar radioactive sticker adhered to a sealed clear tube of radioactive substance sends a chill down my spine. It glared at me like a fallout shelter sign. A horrific image floods my brain of those old ‘duck and cover’ educational films of the cold war-era. Those old creepy 50’s films came to the forefront of my mind. And that little tube of clear substance had to be like a chemotherapy drug often injected into a patient via a chemo port. Somebody famous that I had long admired and looked up to as a positive male role model throughout my adolescent and even adulthood came to mind. They have long since been deceased for 26 years now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think fondly of them and wish I could have had the chance to have met them or wrote them a letter before they sadly passed away. He was such a good man, Lord… I turn away as though viewing them in lying in state. It didn’t help that the table cloth was black, either.

I bypass this table like it has the plague. And I don’t want any of the freebees they eagerly hand out. I took one placard and later tossed it in the trash since it was placed next to that clear tube of suspicious-looking liquid radiation. Why in God’s name would they leave something extremely dangerous like that out in the open? That’s like displaying plutonium and placing a sticky note on it stating, “Squish me, feel me, play with me.” Holy Mackerel, when nurses and doctors who specialize in Oncology (that’s a fancy medical term for cancer specialist) and administer chemo to cancer patients, they have to gown up from head to toe like a Hazmat worker and handle that stuff as though they were disarming a ticking time bomb that’s ready to explode.

Somebody needs to scratch fun off the table tent cards for this Women’s Only event. I was roped over to that table by some thick-accented woman telling me if I filled out their survey card I could then receive a free tiny bottle of pink nail polish.

I crook my eyebrow and throw them a suspicious eye. I gaze at the tiny bottle of formaldehyde-Tulane-laden nail polish that will likely contain some nasty potential carcinogens, and the bold print on their survey glares at me that made me think back to my last visit with my canoe inspector telling me… “and now that you’re getting older,”

Please, stop it right there.

Let give men some sound advice from a woman’s perspective: One thing a canoe inspector should never, ever tell any woman is remind her that she’s getting old(er). Some women do and will take offense to that. Also, it is still seen as somewhat rude and insensitive in society. Men want to broach the topic with us don’t use the word old and never ask a woman to her face how old she is or make her pencil it in on a form. Age is just that, a number. It shouldn’t be a deciding factor in regards to health or automatically place either gender be it female or male into a ‘risk factor’ category. I will do the dance of joy when these high and low, low risk categories get kicked to the curb entirely in the future.

And then the canoe inspector went on to tell me, “Some school of thought would say you might want to think about getting your annual MAMOGRAM.”

I did butt heads with my canoe inspector after they told me this and laughed at the same time through my visible irritation simply because I’m not a stupid woman. I come across as stubborn at times, yes you bet. And you can tell me anything, but if I don’t like what I’m being told, I view it as an ‘order’ and won’t listen.

I can’t just don my clothes and storm out because the canoe inspector has me flat on my back in the middle of a breast exam. I stare at the boring white ceiling tile above me for a distraction. I let their lecture go in one ear and out the other. Okay, I get it that canoe inspectors have to tell every woman they see she really should start thinking about getting her annual mammograms by a certain age. And right off the bat, the first question on the survey is “Are you 40 years of age?”

 

“Have you scheduled a mammogram at all in the last 2-3 years?”

 

“Have you received your first mammogram at 20 years of age?”

 

“Will you discuss your high risk chance of getting breast cancer with your physician/ physician assistant and/ or OB/GYN?”

 

“Have you asked your physician to perform a breast exam on you at all?”

 

And here are some questions I wanted to add:

 

“Do you know what a female breast looks like?”

“Does a woman know what her breasts look like?”

“Does she understand that her breasts won’t be perky her whole life long?”

“Does she realize that bras can cause premature sagging/ weakening of the breasts?” (This is due to a weakened Cooper’s ligament which is the band of tissue that supports the breasts).

“Do you know that every time a woman goes in for a mammogram 1,000 grams of radiation exposure are stored in her body and never leave?”

“Do you know the more mammograms a woman receives, the more radiation is stored and could lead to cancer at some point in her lifetime?”

“Do you know if cancer were present in the breast tissue, when that is compressed between two glass slides, the chance is very likely it will rupture and send more cancer cells pumping through her system?”

And what they don’t tell women is that let’s face it. Gravity will take its toll and those beauties do change shape and size when a woman stops lactating and breastfeeding. She will also loose breast size if she gains or loses weight, lifts weights, and these changes shouldn’t set off a panic alarm, per se. And as she ages, the breasts will change shape and size. Yet here again, we are so thoroughly brainwashed to run to our canoe inspectors to bare it all for them and possibly unwanted pokes and prodding.

Come on, women, let’s do our internet homework on the changes of the female breasts. Also, as we age, our breasts will change. Nowhere do I see this listed on the placard, and my belief is that certain keywords are an effective scare tactic because the mainstream health field knows that women can be very persuasive, especially if you offer them wine and impair their judgment a little bit and I’m not posting this to incite ire. I’m just expressing my opinion about this evening and what I saw. I don’t drink, by the way.

The thick-accented woman asked me if I’d like to fill out their breast cancer “high risk” survey and give them all of my pertinent personal information.  I pointed to the word, ‘Mammogram’ and told her straight up, “Well, I don’t agree with this.” And the look on my face was very serious. She was speechless and gave me a look of utter shock as though I had cussed her out to her face.

“You don’t need to get a mammogram in order to fill out our survey.” She fumbled for a reply, still quite bewildered.

And point blank, I politely put forth my own two cents worth, “You do realize that 1,000 radiation stay trapped in a woman’s breast tissue and body when exposed to these mammogram x-rays? And why in God’s name would you want to flatten the breast between two glass plates and have any cancer cells (if any are present) to possibly rupture and send out more cancer cells like a raging wildfire throughout her body?”

The woman’s jaw dropped open and snapped shut. She stuttered out her next sentence. She could clearly see I was vehemently opposed to their mammogram survey and mainstream propaganda even though my voice never changed pitch nor hinted at an ounce of emotion other than seriousness.

“I’m natural path,” I added. “Sorry I don’t agree with you, but I won’t be filling this out. It goes against my chosen lifestyle.” I never did mention that late 19th century natural path and Physical Culture founder Bernarr Macfadden is my role model for health, beauty and exercise and has been for many, many years now. I own several of his books on Physical Culture and his encyclopedia set.

She told me, “Oh, no need to be sorry. We women… we—uh- err, have a right to decide our health care and what steps we should take.”

“We do, hunh? And you really believe that? I never got that chance when I was 22. I was put through a living hell when I was forced to undergo a mammogram and I hope to never endure another one in my lifetime.” I saw a clearing in the crowd and went on my way.

The old ‘bait and switch’ event. You show up expecting to have a carefree time and leave with a freebee bag full of mainstream literature instead and a few little other things like Passion with Jan adult-themed parties, chocolates, sweets, and yet the local hospital is telling women to lay off all soft drinks showing a picture of how many grams of processed sugar soda and fruit juices contain and strongly advise in tiny bold text, “Drink more water,” yet guess what they serve? Wine. Alcohol contains sugar, too. But there’s no mention kicking that to the curb. Some women will attend this event thinking the wine will lead to unrestrained merriment and uninhibited spending sprees—woo-hoo!

Instead, we as a culture are constantly assailed by politically-driven mainstream health propaganda wherever we are and this event turned out to be no different. I look myself over in my average uniform. Nothing fancy about it or remotely special about how I look wearing it. I move about gracefully, keeping a close eye on the crowded place. There’s nothing special about what I do. I clean for a living. I love my job, enjoy my fellow co-workers and sure we all have our moments, but that’s life.

 

And then I mosey on over to the other side of the event and meet by happenstance a fellow likeminded natural path soul who I just had to congratulate for opting not to vaccinate their child, and who were, themselves vaccine and flu shot free, too. That was a plus in my book. I was so proud of them for their decision.

 

We chatted up a storm on various natural path/alternative natural path lifestyle topics, but when they told me about their doctor of choice (after the long frustration of trying to find a mainstream medical professional that would take into account their natural path lifestyle and take them seriously) I had to explain I knew of the doctor in question and didn’t care for them from what a relative of mine experienced when seeing them.
We did agree on the same stance against the annual mammogram brouhaha going on over yonder a few tables away, with that wheel of Russian roulette listing all cancer ailments minus the one that took out the famous person I had admired growing up. And our small talk landed on canoe inspectors. We did wish and hoped there were actual ‘natural path’ canoe inspectors that practiced locally, but good luck finding them. I doubt they truly exist, and if they do, here again, the chances are about as good as getting ran over by a herd of psycho wielding looters during a blackout. It just may not be a reality in our lifetime.

 

Keep pipe dreaming, girlie. I think to myself. Natural path canoe inspectors just don’t exist, and if they ever did/ do, they’d be making house calls to only those with disposable incomes with top notch health insurance coverage. And their clinics, I’m sure are searching for a needle in a haystack.

I parted ways with that dear woman who self-promoted a healthy diet, nutrition and offered seminars, email updates, plastered Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with her self-taught knowledge. I applauded her for making a dent in this mainstream-saturated society we live in.

I know all about healthy eating, raw fruits and veggies, dieting, etc. But she did come up with a possible cause as to why I keep coming down with a recurring sore throat and cough after I briefly explained my bout with it to her. She added it might be something in my working environment causing it. It could be in the HAVAC unit and until she told me, I gave little thought to it. I know for certain those automatic air fresheners that are located all over do cause me to cough as well. And the cleaners I use daily flair up my allergies something fierce.

 

The disinfectant Odoban contains a bacterial strain and it’s loaded with chemicals and fragrances. It causes me non-stop coughing spells and the mere after spray of it that lingers makes my cough worse. After about a month of exposure to Odoban, I had to switch over to using Pine-Sol diluted with water. My system can’t handle Odoban exposure. And whenever another employee uses Odoban, I don a surgical face mask because the allergic reaction I receive is twenty fold misery for me. I love my job and circumvent wherever and whenever I can do so. The surgical masks help very little, but its far better than getting a full dose of Odoban in my lungs.

 

I’m also having allergy issues with the Glimmer-O water based metal polish cleaner and it’s oil-based cousin is far worse on me due to its lingering fumes. Oh, and one of the dangers of long-term exposure to Glimmer-O is it will eventually lead to defattening of the skin (that’s where the fat deposits are depleted in the skin) and the fumes, if inhaled for long periods of time even with proper ventilation and wearing a thin surgical face mask, can still cause a myriad of possible inhalation dangers, too.  That makes me one very chemically-sensitive person.

 

And there was the extremely watered-down ‘adult’- themed table. I bought a pair of spicy dice just because they were so unique and very out of the ordinary. The dice are manufactured by Cal Exotics Novelty, LLC. I want to spoof these dice, by the way. The lady in charge of the table noticed I was giving careful scrutiny to the stuff she had for sale.

 

Massage oils, lotions, couples ‘date night’ coupons with intimate phrases… now I’ve seen it all. Yet, I lack a man. Oh, well, I guess it doesn’t matter. And the lady in charge kindly parks herself at the table and tells me I can take a picture of the item I’m interested in and she’d happily email it to me and give me a deal on anything from her website. I very kindly explained that per company regulations, I can’t have my phone on my person when I’m working the floor. She sees that I’m obviously very intrigued by the dice as I’m meticulously jotting down the company info, website, price and name of the spicy dice.

She tells me, “How much you got on you?”

“Only five bucks.”

“I’ll let em’ go for that.”

“Really?” I was surprised.

“Yep.”  She was all smiles.

“Deal.” I took the info with me and returned a few minutes later and bought the dice.

 

What possessed me to buy a pair of spicy dice? I haven’t a clue other than I want to poke fun of the sex phrases. And it made me think back to what a millennial asked me point blank while we were working late one evening, “You must be gay.” She laughed in my face because there was no man in my life waiting to pick me up after work, leaving me texts, delivering me a lunch, etc.

 

Stunned, I gave the twenty-something a look of ‘whatever’ and rolled my eyes. “You don’t have a boyfriend!” she joyfully squealed that it echoed throughout the building. I was so glad we were closed for the evening because I would have been mortified had there been a crowd.

 

I retorted in my studious manner, “Some day the right man is going to march right through those doors,” [I pointed to the far set of double glass doors], “He and I will lock eyes and we’ll just ‘know’ we were meant for each other and fate will have stepped in.”

 

The young gal just clapped at me. This was her typical response when something bored her to tears she once told me. I’m like, okay, whatever. Stop trying to reason with this younger generation. They’re too far gone, disrespectful, rude and wild.

 

All in all, the evening had an excellent big turn out I thought. I was relieved to be kept busy most, if not, all of the night. Granted I couldn’t bust chops like I would have liked to have done otherwise. And they had an indoor archery range set up in one of the lounge areas of the building. I love archery. When I got my fifteen minute break, I just had to try it out. I do have some archery experience from many years ago.

 

There were these two foam-cushioned targets with circular cut-out sponge-like consistency inserts that you shot out with the arrows. Now the arrows had these foam-tipped ends (not take down arrows, mind you). I couldn’t resist asking for a couple of tries.

 

Back when my ex and I were still together, he and I took up archery. He was exceptionally knowledgeable with archery and I still remember him telling me all about the famous bow hunter, Howard Hill I believe was his name. And my ex mentioned something about a Fred Bear bow and I believe he owned several.

 

I learned pretty much everything about archery from my ex. And as I practiced more way back when, I gained the physical strength to pull a fifty pound bow. I started off something like 15 or 25 pound bow and gradually gained the strength that way. In retrospect I do regret we sold off our archery equipment and bows. Archery was/ still is so much fun and it came back to me like second nature even though I hadn’t had any practice in 14 years. Boy, how time flies. Anyways, the ladies manning the archery game were kind of annoying by preventing me from adjusting my grip on the bow and showed me how to hold it. I politely told them, “I know, k’?”

 

The ladies gathered around, watching me, most were whispering about some trivial issues that had no relation to what I was happily doing. It took me several warm up tries.  On my fifth try, I hit the back stop with the company’s name and bull’s eye target on it even though it wasn’t the actual target.

 

And by my sixth and seventh try, I was releasing the arrows as though I was never out of practice. I still remember vividly the quiver clipped at my side. The arrows that my boyfriend spent one week to finish and cure had to be sized down to fit. He hand-glued the feathers which was awesome and very time-consuming as I recall. I could feel the real fur-lined finger protector that gripped the string and slipped over my index and middle fingers. How I missed that and how it brought back some fond memories for me even if just for a few short-lived fifteen minutes. I wasn’t aware that the ladies at the archery game were watching me until one of them was standing close to beside me commenting, “Hey, that was a good shot.”

 

And “Hey, not bad,” as I hit yet another bull’s eye. I wish there could have been more time for me to enjoy archery practice, but I had to get back on the floor. I have a building to clean.

 

On my final go around I remarked to the lady standing next to me, “See that target in the lower left-hand corner, keep your eye on it.” I held the bow steady, string and arrow drawn taut, flush with my cheek. I zeroed in on the target and released. Instant bull’s eye! J

 

“Okay, she just hit four in a row.” The lady standing beside me tried to make sense of what she just watched me do.

 

I smiled and said, “You think that’s something, watch this.” I loaded the bow, took aim and released. Another bull’s eye. “Thanks.” I said with a smile and handed her back the bow.
”You act like you’ve had a little bit of experience with archery before.” She commented to me.

 

“A little bit?” I laughed. “Ma’am, I can pull a fifty pound like nobody’s business. At least I could at one time. My ex taught me everything I ever needed and wanted to know about archery.”

 

I contently resumed my shift. I’m quite amazed at how women interact with each other, especially in public at a women’s only event. We group off in cliques—you know, liken to those in Middle and High School where the popular kids grouped off, the nerds and geeks had their own social sets, and the unpopular clique consisted of less than a handful—I was terribly unpopular all throughout school. And the evening was similar to that, like all different social cliques off in their own worlds. Kind of sad, really.

 

If they weren’t busy updating their Facebook status or trying out snap chat, then they were yapping on their cell phones, taking some interest in the Plinko game taking place on center stage. There was no live act. No rock stars laying down some serious classics. No wailing screams from heavy metal guitars, either. And no vocalist that could hit a six octave range and stir up the audience into a frenzy of excitement that could pulsate and ripple through a packed venue of energetic concert-goers.

 

Men will sometimes form instant buddy-buddy camaraderie. We women on the other hand are the exact opposite. I glean this from all I experienced on this evening. I listened to more gossip in the women’s restroom than I care to remember. Two young women, probably not barely 19 years old were discussing taking the pill and how it gave them major hormone disturbances. At their age “hormones” wasn’t in my vocabulary. In fact, ‘disturbances’ would have been foreign to me back then, too. I’m not ass-backwards at Nineteen. The internet is still creeping into a few households. And whatever research I discovered was from the late 90’s.  But neither of these gals mentioned how blood clots could possibly form in the legs and travel up to the lungs with long-term pill use. Nor did I hear a peep as to the risk is higher if they’re over the age of 35 and/ or are smokers. When I heard one remark that their mom made them quit the pill [cold turkey] I was thinking, Yikes! Amazing they didn’t suffer any adverse side effects without tapering off the pill.

 

Before I sign off I just wanted to give a shout out to all my current and past followers out there. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been swamped working two jobs nowadays. I seldom find the time to blog as often as I once used to do, but will make the effort to publish a few posts as my new schedule allows. I love to blog like always and do my best to answer any and all comments on here. It might take me some time, so please, be patient. And to all of my new followers; thank you for subscribing to my antiquing, writing, health, beauty and life blog here at WordPress. I sincerely appreciate it and I will follow back! J

 

As always, thanks for following, tweeting, sharing, re-blogging, reading, commenting, etc. I truly appreciate it a lot! J  Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The move of a lifetime.

Published December 26, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

And yes, I managed it.  I did the impossible and now I am like one of the millions out there that have partially achieved the American dream: home ownership. But what was wrong with the little one-bedroom money pit I used to live in? A lot! And it needed the attention of a contractor most of all, something of which I couldn’t swing or even know how to do properly.  The bright side is that my parents got their money back from that little investment property.  As for me and my kit-cat, we moved on and my beautiful rose bushes went too. Whether or not my roses survive is highly unlikely though I did my best. I tackled all this while working full-time too so time management was something all new to me and I couldn’t pack everything in in one day like I would have wanted.

I simply had to move on, plain and simple. It was time to put my first short-term goal of finding a better roof over my head for me and my kit-cat into action. I took a sabbatical from my volunteerism during the remainder of the summer so I could devote my time to gardening and water-bath canning my produce. I knew the times ahead for me were going to get off to be rough and groceries in the beginning not so plentiful.

So, my large garden didn’t yield the massive quantities of veggies I was hoping for. I managed to dry some herbs and spices before I moved enough to last me four months.  At most I was able to squeeze out a meager 23 canned goods from my garden. I was hoping for at least 50 canning jars full of dill pickles, Sauer kraut, jelly, etc., but that never came to pass like I had planned on.

So, what’s a full-time employed housekeeper to do? Get their short-term and long-term goals figured out and I did that as luck would have it and landed into the good graces of my recent place of full-time work. I still clean elsewhere as a second job, but I don’t get paid overtime at either job but that’s something I don’t mind as long I can pay my bills, make my house payment and buy groceries that’s all I care about.

Being a housekeeper is physically demanding and its not as easy as it appears. Sometimes though the dumpster trash weighs more than I do. (hah!) I also learned some transferable skills while on my new job. I can operate a floor squeegee machine which is a first for me since I’d never had to learn how to drive one of those before. What else do I do? I also porter.  That’s where I go around and clean up any spills, paper waste, etc.  And I like to engage with the public.

 

At first I wasn’t getting my hopes up of ever moving away. I did look at several houses when I was still very new in my full-time job, and all the homes I was looking at in my price range were very deplorable. I mean, the little money pit given all its flaws looked like a palace compared to the interiors of these dumpy houses that really needed to be knocked to the ground.  One house I looked at was built around the time era I simply adore from the Roaring Twenties, however, don’t let the lilac/ lavender exterior paint fool you. Step in and the place had been ransacked by previous not-so-great tenants. There was evidence of rodents and their droppings littered the tattered brown carpets in two bedrooms and elsewhere.  I got a sense of gloom and despair as I absorbed the house’s past. And then it grew to unease and I was feeling like I needed to leave– like immediately.

Teetering on the top shelf of the bizarre closet with two different doors, I noticed a window box AC. I envisioned at any given moment it would fall down and strike me dead. I headed for the bathroom portion of this house where the basement door was located. (Think in terms of a trap door on a stage), yeah, very interesting place to build an inset basement access. It took my dad to lift up the heavy wooden door. I shined my flashlight beam to the rickety staircase, the overpowering smell of mildew assaulted my nostrils with almost a wretched, nausea-inducing reaction.  The windows had been all filled in with concrete, I kid the reader not on that. I received a very bad feeling, many of them, about this particular house, but the creep factor of the window-less basement really turned me away as a first-time homebuyer.

I quickly stood and let my dad shut the basement door.  Oh, yeah, and it didn’t help that the floors in the back part of the house felt ‘spongy’ and very unstable below my feet and I’m at the very most about 95 lbs. Now, if these floors can’t even support my stick-figure self, what chance would they have that my 100 lbs. antiques wouldn’t just serve as a wrecking ball and bring down the whole darn house the first day of moving in? Well, moving into this particular house wasn’t even a remote possibility. Oh, and this house has severe spider infestations and the foundation was sloped so standing water in the yard would settle around it causing more erosion over time. Okay,  this tour is over. I’m ready to head off to work. And mind you, I was getting up extremely early to tour all of these homes on my list before work. On any given day I was running on two or three hours of sleep, and being a full-time employed housekeeper puts my body through a physical workout which is why I’ve lost weight.  I still eat as Vegetarian as always,  but it was combined with lack of enough sleep that took a toll on my mental stamina as well. However, I was extremely determined to buy a house and get the heck out of the money pit that’s what drove me to push on.

And I didn’t buy the first house that met all my criteria, either. I had to do some major homework before I ever met with an awesome Mortgage lender. I knew that time on the job is vital to the first time home-buying process and so is having the earnest money ready, having a savings set aside for any and future home repairs, etc.

 

During this whirlwind journey of home-buying, I ran into some unexpected ‘life’ valleys. The vehicle that I drove religiously that was great on gas was finally breaking down and my worst nightmare was becoming a reality; the transmission is ready to fail. The cost to repair it on a vehicle pushing 23 years? $3,000 off the bat. Well, money doesn’t grow on trees for me. It was like a receiving a sucker-punch to the gut when I heard that. I knew that someday down the road my vehicle was destined for the junkyard, but I am thankful that it barely held up enough to get me to work and back. It also transported the final loads from the old house to the new one over the Thanksgiving holiday. But the old vehicle’s days were numbered after that and it was becoming more of a safety-hazard than trying to hold onto it for sentimental sake. I cried over parting with my vehicle, you bet. I went through ‘first vehicle-ever owned’ depression for a few days afterwards. My parents (bless them) came through for me and landed me in the driver’s seat of a 2010 vehicle that I will be purchasing from them. It’s all updated with seat warmers, and the only problem is the gas pedal. I’m short and have to scrunch myself up into the steering wheel just to drive it.

A shaky transition:

Unlike learning how to confidentially drive the squeegee machine at work, I was given a brief one-night practice run in the 2010 vehicle that belonged to my parents. My eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be in my younger days. In fact, driving at night is tough for anybody. I managed to do well my first time out. And it took me about three weeks to get the hang of the new vehicle and how it handled on the road.  I pack my MP3 that’s already downloaded with nearly my entire collection of Victrola 78s plus Edison Diamond Discs and Edison wax cylinder music as well. I’m set. The only thing missing? Being in the driver seat of a Model T. I say a Model T even though those are more of a Baby Boomer’s classic plaything, not for some young-ish person that was born long after that antique automobile.

My next antique goal will be something that can’t go in my house. And yes, I’ve had plans of eventually buying (or restoring) for that matter a Model T Ford.  Okay, I will accept a Model A, but nothing beyond 1929 since that’s my cut-off year as far as antiques go and don’t ask me why.  Sure as the years went on the Art-Deco era (1929-1933) had some fascinating designs, but I keep going back to the Roaring Twenties and the Teens for old-fashions, automobiles,  and oh yeah, antique advertisements for women’s dresses. I recently bought a print for women’s Wooltex dresses from a 1907 Ladies Home Journal print (original not a reprint) that displayed on my bookcase.

And I must have bought more than just a pretty picture.  Shortly after getting used to the new antique house, I placed a few battery-operated candles  around the house and use those often when I don’t feel like plugging in a nightlight.  I worked into the wee-hours and my poor kit-cat was still reeling from the move and me not being around as much to wait on her hand and foot like I often once did.  I finally opened up my bedroom to my cat and she’ll only sleep at the foot of my bed when I call her. Otherwise, she prefers her Eastlake rocking chair or the Eastlake couch. My antique dolls dominate the entire house lovingly and I’m sure that’s going to creep out company when they stop by.  One battery candle I purchased either came with a malfunction or it’s haunted. I say that because whenever I turned the candle off and left the room, I’d return and it would be flickering. It’s one of those screw-on battery candles and very difficult to turn on and off. At first I dismissed it as a malfunction until I returned home from work in the wee hours to find it turned flickering on my bookshelf where I display the antique Ladies Home Journal advertisement. Either that or the antique print came with a friendly ghost that likes to turn on that battery operated candle for me.

And the only other weird incident I encountered was when I was heading up to the porch, I noticed what appeared to be a dim light extinguish in my bedroom. I tried on many occasions to figure out if it was another outside light source casting a bend of light on my bedroom window to no avail. And the only time I witnessed that happen was a day or two after my Edison C-19 oak phonograph broke.  Maybe Thomas Edison was inspecting his phonograph to see how it got broke? Who knows. If that’s the case, he invented it, then he can fix it. As far as anything ominous or spooky inside my new house I haven’t felt anything. In fact, my mom had to have a talk with the house when she came over to do some minor repair work when I was at work. The house resisted her efforts to hang curtains, install a brace to the basement landing, etc. And after she said, “You know, you’re (to the house) not going to find any other person that loves you more than my daughter does. She’s even bought antiques from the same time period to fill you with, so please  don’t resist my efforts. “

And the talk worked. My mother’s work went smoothly after that. Shortly after I took possession of my new house, I go over there take a small load with me, switch on my old-time music and worked on peeling off the chef boarder in the kitchen. Behind it, I noticed some beautiful fruit-wreath-themed boarder in almost good condition. There’s still some paper residue that I need to gently peel off, but as I was doing that I had a moment of déjà-vu. My mind cast back to the time I was four years old and had a vivid dream of seeing boarder being removed from the kitchen to reveal the fruit-wreath-themed underneath.

In my four-year old glee I said, “Gee, that sure is pretty!” In my dream I didn’t see myself standing on the ladder though nor did I see myself as an adult, either. I just saw history being uncovered and preserved. I saw the interior of my new house back [then] in fragments in my dream.

During the second walk-thru with my parents before I bought my new house…

My mom couldn’t resist opening a suitcase in the basement. We weren’t expecting much and knew we shouldn’t be messing with the suitcase, but the house sat empty for 80 days on the market. And what we laid eyes on was a modern kitchen rug, but the scent transported us back to another time. The rug didn’t have a bad smell to it. It had an old-time nice kitchen smell to it and one that was familiar to my mom and I. My mom and I looked at each other and we remembered where we had smelled that same kitchen scent. Sadly, it was an old Victorian we lived in when I was about four years old and the old Victorian was knocked to the ground to make way for another parking lot expansion behind a public library. The Victorian (when we lived in it) couldn’t pass city codes. In fact, the electrical wiring was original to the 1920s and by the early 1980s standards, that was a fire hazard waiting to happen. The house wasn’t insulated to my mom’s memory, but the house still had all the antique fixtures and an old claw foot bath tub and pedestal sink in the bathroom.  Out of all the homes we lived in over the years, nothing quite topped that Victorian and it had a good vibe, like, “welcome home” every time we stepped in and that same familiar kitchen scent lingered in that Victorian. The one me and my mom detected was likened to that one. I haven’t removed the rug from the suitcase since that day and just keep it put up. Also, my new house came with two original antique doors that I plan to replace and remove the hollow core doors that are there now when time and my schedule permits. I believe these doors go to the bedroom and bathroom, but we’ll see if I’m right about that. And I do have a set of skeleton keys that fit the locks as well.

When time wasn’t all digital, electric, or battery-operated…

And that’s what I wanted in my new antique house, key-wound clocks and pocket watches. I have several of each. The pocket watches are more suited for a man rather than a woman, but eh, we all can’t find a woman’s antique pocket watch. Now for the clocks nothing beats hearing them chime out of sync.

The mantel clocks were surprisingly the first antiques to acclimate in the new old house long before I brought over anymore of my clutter– I mean, ‘stuff.’

The Ansonia mantel clock (circa 1899 or 1900 for the history buffs) with the broken striker coil that needs to be re-soldered works perfect. Does the fact that striker coil is broke bother me any? None at all. Since all antique clocks have a loud chime, this clock fits beautifully into my bedroom and doesn’t wake me up.  My other two clocks one of them an Eastlake kitchen clock stays on my Hosier in another part of the house. The Eastlake clock can chime all it wants to, and although pleasant, will be loud enough to wake the dead.  My Seth Thomas mantel clock… grrr. I’ve tried to get this beautiful clock to remain ticking, but there’s something off-balance about it and it must never be moved an inch since I’ve owned it. But it will keep perfect time and it chimes very loud when level. So for now, it sits silent on the bookcase with the dolls.

 

My new antique home is 96 years young. I don’t like using the term ‘old’ since I associate it with something used up.  The house I settled on retains a lot of its old-fashioned interior including the old knob and cloth-bound wiring. Now before anybody on here has a freak out moment of mammoth proportions, keep in mind, that yes, I did have an inspection preformed prior to my closing date, and the inspector checked out the electricity and it passed inspection. Also, in other areas of the house, there’s been newer wiring installed. And me? It brought back vivid happy childhood memories when my eyes saw that antique wiring that I hadn’t seen in years. The porcelain insulators remained with their white shiny glare from the gaudy curly-Q eco-‘depressing’ light bulbs. Oh, that’s on my ‘to-do’ list. Those eco-unfriendly light bulbs from China were removed the day I took possession of my house. I placed incandescent bulbs in the basement.  There’s a lot I disagree with regarding the eco-curly Q light bulbs that I find frankly, annoying and too dim. I could prattle on about the eco light bulbs contain mercury, etc. But this blog is about my experiences as a first-time home buyer: the joys and upsets of a long butt-kicker of a move.

The only antique to get broke during the move was…

Not great, great grandmother’s bed doll. And it wasn’t any of my antique furniture, either. The two standing pole lamps made it in excellent condition. The Victrolas (or as my relative told me after moving the last one into the house exclaimed; “These coffins on wheels that play music, and if you ever will these to me make sure you have an antique moving company written in your will to deliver them to my house!”). The relative stepped away from the Victrolas and Edisons and sat down elsewhere to take a breather.

My heart sank and I thought to myself as a listened and watched the Edison C-19 hit the last porch step with a violent bang, “And that’s the nail in the Edison C-19 phonograph’s coffin” as the horn lift rod completely came un-soldered in two places and rattled in the cabinet. My worst fears were revealed later on that late night when I inspected all the Victrolas and Edisons. The oak one (my very first antique phonograph) was out of order.

I didn’t panic and I wasn’t seething mad with my family. Yes, the machine was strapped to a two-wheeler that can support the weight of a refrigerator.  But it still broke likely due to the fatigue it was already under plus playing it after the repair wasn’t such a wise idea. “The horns are impossible to repair.” My repair guy once told me. But rather than accept that advice, I tackled the horn repair and made the impossible possible, or at least, do-able.

What I once thought was a bur inside the horn lift knob turned out to be the horn and the solder that began to fail due to constant temperature changes during the transition phase of moving.

What kind of solder was used? Lead. It’s what they used in the old days when those antique phonographs were new. Also, my ex-boyfriend and I used fluxing compound, the old kind that plumbers used to use back in the day.  And I all I have is the lead solder. I don’t have the hand-held propane torch nor the extra helping hand anymore. So I had to wait, save up a couple paychecks and bought a replacement horn for the machine.

I installed it myself, and boy howdy, I suffered for it the following day. I’m not strong like I once was and after everything was back in the cabinet a washer decides to drop out of the old horn…. arrg! That means I inspect my two other identical Edisons to figure out where the washer goes and I visually can’t find one that matches. I don’t know if it supports the horn lift rod inside the cabinet or if it just decided to fall off from another part of the mainboard assembly.  Collecting and servicing these antique phonographs can be a frustration at times, but it’s the love of them that outweighs the guesswork.

Interchangeable, my foot! I spent two and half hours take parts off the old horn and installed them on the other horn that I could have spent getting caught up on my sleep and still had to work the next day. I’ll tackle it some other time and I still need to email my repair guy and see what I’m doing wrong with the replacement. Anywho– I’ll get that problem tackled in my spare time.  The original repair job lasted for more than 11 years and finally failed completely on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. The last song played on the Edison C-19 before it broke: “You’re the Cream in my Coffee”-Fox Trot and “He ain’t Never Been to College”. The last Edison Diamond disc to be played on the Edison C-19 oak machine was “Invitation to the Waltz”.

The very first song I heard as a demonstration to be played on the Edison C-19 oak using the incorrect steel needle Ken-Tone reproducer, “Wreck of the old Southern 97” by Texas crooner Vernon Dalhart. And that’s the song that had me sold on the antique phonograph.

In retrospect it’s hard for me to believe that I am this phonograph’s second owner. I made a lot of improvements to the machine cosmetically-speaking and made sure the mainsprings were serviced by a professional. And as time went on that was my ‘go-to’ machine to record from. The acoustics were beautiful long before the machine ever got broke. And even after our repair held, the machine sounded good, but not great as they do when left entirely alone.  And now, my dear Edison C-19 phonograph remains out of service for the present time.

As for my house, everything’s good. The bathroom still has an original claw foot tub which was a plus for me when I was looking for an antique home because I grew up with such outdated fixtures in those old Victorians that were chopped up into apartments back in the Twenties, so that took me back to a happier time. Oh, and shared garage can’t fit a modern car and I know what that means, the garage itself was original to 1920 when my house was built. That means it might accommodate a Model T or a Model A. The Model A came after the Model T, by the way and it doesn’t have to be a FORD exactly, but I’ll see what I can turn up (and mind you, this is one of my long-term goals that won’t happen overnight it might take my entire lifetime to buy one outright since I don’t believe in going into debt or taking out loans either).

A Happily ever after…

The house came with a washer and a dryer. Thank goodness no ‘smart’ appliances. Yay!  But it was my determination that got me to my American dream of home ownership and I had to really sacrifice a lot both physically and budget-wise. Oh, and another good thing to do: create and follow a monthly budget. I was so used to stocking up on groceries at the first of every month before my housekeeping took off that my new house is overstocked and I don’t need to buy anything other than bananas and eggs twice a month.  And I made sure to have all of my food provisions for me and my cat in place. The rest like gas for the vehicle, paying bills happen on my days off.

As for my cat, she’s still holds a grudge with my mom who snagged her in the pet taxi and brought her to the new house. And my cat goes through depression whenever she sees me in my work uniform. I believe she and I were so inseparable in the beginning when she adopted me as her person five years ago that now not to have me in her universe 24/7 has really upset her that she’d cry and bellow out this lonesome meow whenever my mom would stop by and work on my new house. And my cat would wander up to the front door, expecting me to enter, and when I wouldn’t she’d run to the basement and hide out under the staircase.

But I do hope my cat understands that I’m working my tail feathers off to provide her a much better life. At least now my cat will never have to worry about abandonment like her previous owners did to her I can only guess this and left her behind to fend for herself and survive all those harsh cold winters, starvation.  And now, my cat packed on the weight and gets fed quality wet and dry cat food.  As a treat I will give her a mini-moo on occasion when I get off work, but even that I wouldn’t recommend giving a cat all of the time since its half n’ half and probably unhealthy for pets.  There’s got to be some kind of kitten formula that’s safe to treat a cat with on occasion.  That and my cat still gets a tiny piece of baked potato since that’s the thing she inhaled the first time I encountered her outside five years ago at the old house.  She was so rail thin you could see and feel her ribs that it was scary.

She was a pitiful mess when she and I first encountered each other and she wasn’t a friendly feline. She used to hiss and spit at me when I’d come outside with the compost.  Over the years she gradually warmed up to me and I let her inside during a severe winter snow storm back in 2013 and she had been an indoor/outdoor cat ever since and we became inseparable.

Nowadays since moving though she’s adjusting to an indoor lifestyle and getting adjusted to my hectic work schedule. She has her toys , free reign of the entire house, which for a cat, that must be like top of the world and she’s got a person that dotes on her constantly and she knows she’s well loved, too.  As for the new house, its great. I couldn’t be happier.