Tick . . . tock . . . tick . . . tock

Such is the sound of August – every year. School will be starting back up in a week and a half, and for the first time since I started teaching, I am mentally prepared to go back to school, probably because, well, I’ve been out of school since mid-March. While I always need a mental break after a hectic school year, this was a little too long. The school year ended with an abrupt karate chop, and it’s just not normal. I’m used to ending the year frazzled and exhausted, and while I was getting there in mid-March, I hadn’t yet hit the true craziness of the year.

My husband and I made one last excursion last weekend down to Altoona, IA – home of Prairie Meadows Casino. Neither one of us are gamblers, but we are big fans of AJ’s Steakhouse in the casino. The best prime rib ever! Always great service, too. Yes, it’s a little pricier, but dammit, sometimes you need to treat yo’self.

While in Altoona, we visited a few antique stores around the area. Some were great, some were pretty scary. We went to some huge stores that were strangely devoid of tablecloths, so that was a disappointment for me, but my husband seemed to hit the motherlode EVERYWHERE with records. Store after store had bins full, and I would wander off in search of tablecloths, to no avail. One booth in one store had some decent ones, and that is the only stash I found that was worth the look. Here are some of my finds:

I’m not a huge Vera Bradley fan, but I know her stuff is highly sought after by some collectors. This one had the tag and just a few stains, which came out after a 24-hour soaking and sun bath.
This unique homemade cloth caught my eye because of the way it was constructed; the middle part is a separate inlaid piece, and all the hand stitching is evident on the back. All the edges are finished in red trim. Simple, but cute.
No label, but this cloth was clean and bright, and I decided it should come home with me.
Not a tablecloth, but how adorable is this little kitchen towel? I originally thought it was a clothespin holder, but there is no pocket for clothespins. The label identified it as a kitchen towel, but I personally think this thing is way too cute to use for wiping dirty hands on. I chose to display it along with the other kitchen aprons that I have.
This adorable little apron just screams Midcentury. Love the colors, love the layers, and I love even more that it is now mine.

Although I didn’t find any great labeled tablecloths, I was pretty happy with these new additions. The lack of linens to look through activated what has become a constant hobby when we are antique hunting: I look for really odd things – objects that are inexplicable, or look like something made in China, or objects that just are so homely that they’re sort of cute. Behold, my pics of such relics (which I did not buy):

A clown? A snowman? A snowman-clown? This little fella was in a collection of winter-themed statuettes. I do not know why anyone would want this thing in their house.
This is a boot puller. I just don’t understand why they had to make it look like a freaking cockroach.
Sometimes objects just need to be thrown away. I mean, really. WHO WOULD BUY A HEADLESS ELVIS?
I was actually tempted to buy this thing only because it was so alluringly ugly and homely. After posting it on my Facebook for others’ reactions, the general consensus is that it looks like some type of male organ, so I suppose I am glad I did not buy it. But still – look at that face.

Like I said earlier, my husband hit one huge vinyl collection after another in all the stores we went in. So I did my usual thing of looking for the most ridiculous album covers I could find.

I do not listen to polka, so I did not realize this guy was a “thing” in the polka industry. A friend of mine sent me a recording of his title song here, which is pretty funny. He also has another funny song in “I’ve Got a Wife at Home.” Take a listen!

Good stuff, right there! Now I wish I had bought the album. Some other great covers:

I hope that poor girl found a good therapist when she got older. There’s only so much plaid that one can be around before one goes a little nutty.
The album is called Alien. Is that what they are looking at? We’ll never know.

Not all the albums we found were duds, though. My hubby and I ran across one that was a new find for us. Both of us are huge Elvis fans, and my hubby has a gigantic collection of mint-condition Elvis vinyl. In addition, he has CDs of bootleg soundboard recordings from various concerts, but this is the first time we’ve found bootleg audience recordings. It was definitely interesting to hear the crowd reactions around whoever recorded the concert.

So now we both have a new focus as we go vinyl hunting. How many others like this are there? This was buried in a sea of rather crappy albums in horrible shape. Then we found this one in mint condition.

As you know, the hunt goes on!

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