Peggy the Pig

Finally a hot summer day without rain. With friends we set out to explore and look for antiques/collectibles/junk. At one of our stops we were greeted by free range chickens who flapped their wings and clucked chasing after us. We thought they feared we would steal their feed.

Antiques/collectibles/junk was stored in silos, barns and outbuildings. This was a former farm converted to a great place to explore and look for that special, unexpected treasure. Old, rusted farm tools, signs, boxes and so much more to try to visualize in your home.


I ventured into a barn filled with stuff piled on top of more stuff. Cupboards, tables, benches and old baby equipment lined the abandoned stalls. Cats, kittens and bunny rabbits slept quietly among the clutter. Pigeons and raccoons scurried above my head, so this is not for the faint of heart. A new door was open, leading to a hay mow and I could see more treasures in there. With a little effort I was able to hoist myself into the mow and was delighted to see more wooden boxes and furniture. Turning one corner I stopped in my tracks and stood still in shock. Laying across the straw path was a large pink and dark, grey spotted pig. Flies crawled and hovered around her eyes and snout but she never moved. She was breathing so I did not fear that I found a dead critter. I later learned this was Peggy, a family pet who apparently would not have minded if I stepped over her or even on her.

Walking back across the yard I found a beautiful seed mill that sent me hurling back into memories of childhood. The mill is about the size of a small trailer and was used to clean grain before it was planted in the fields. The wooden sides were red, painted wood with a fancy scroll design much like some German folk art. This was a much hated job during the Easter break from school where we were sent to the barn to clean the grain. I took it upon myself to explain to the folks standing around how this piece worked. Grain was poured into a hopper on the top and when the mill was turned on the grain was shaken through a set of screens to remove the chaff and small weed seeds. To demonstrate I did a shimmy. Apparently the watchers did not understand and asked me to do the shimmy again…….hmmm.

After all the shaking and shimmying takes place the clean grain is removed from the mill and bagged for transport to the field.

We went into the house and the silly chickens tried to follow but were chased away by the owner of the business. A few treasurers were purchased but the highlight of the day was Peggy the Pig.


Hunting for Treasures

There is nothing quite like the quest for that special treasure at an antique or collectibles sale. Even with the house filled to capacity there is always room for something else. Over the years we have collected wooden trunks, a spinning wheel, benches, lanterns and more. Today we are a little more selective to avoid being classed as hoarders with an overflowing home.



The best treasures can be found in boxes of junk or under the table. Bending your back to check what lies beneath the table is well worth it. That is where I found a delightful, pink, folk pig. We have named him Arnold and he holds court on a table in the hall.



Going out antique hunting with my friend Thelma is always an adventure. We travel under the pseudonyms of Thelma and Louise. Yes she owns a convertible and I promise you that I will never ride in it near the Grand Canyon.

After a day of rain, at an outdoor antique show, we were walking into booths that vendors had put down straw to soak up the water. One booth had sheets of plywood creating a walkway into their display. This solution did not get rid of the water and when Thelma stepped on the plywood it shot across the booth, like a surf board. She was not injured and we laughed ourselves silly over this new sport.

If Thelma and I can’t find a lovely treasure to negotiate a price on we start looking for the ugliest item for sale. We discuss at the length the ugliness and where we would display it in our homes. Any vendors who hear us are probably not happy with our conversation. We determine that the item is perfect for each others home; as neither of us want to be stuck with it. The solution to this dilemma is to share the ugly tchotchke for six months at a time. Needless to say we do not buy it.

As an avid reader of mystery novels I often see items that would be wonderful murder weapons in a novel. On one occasion I picked up a heavy, marble ashtray. It was diamond shaped and fit perfectly into the palm of my hand. I turned to Thelma and announced that this would make a great murder weapon. The lady on my other side took two steps back.

Spring is beckoning and soon we will be on the road looking for outdoor sales to spend our time and maybe a few dollars at. There is an indoor sale at the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival , March 12th – 13th 2016. I will be the lady looking like she is on a mission.

A Sunday Drive

What better way to spend a sunny, warm Sunday than with friends on a treasure hunt. After a leisurely drive we arrived at our destination, “Jillian’s’ Antiques and Things”, Marmora.

A small galvanized silo had been re-purposed to house a myriad of collectibles, cupboards, sleighs, bottles, wooden farm implements and so much more. One does not know where to look first.

Moving on we toured a barn, once the home of a dairy operation but now home of more stuff to check out. Pigeons cooed in the rafters. Something was scrambling on the tin roof, raccoons perhaps. I was glad when the tour was over and nothing had leaped down onto my head.

A riot of geraniums, daisies, and trailing blue lobelia spilled out of a Ford Model “A”, an International truck and an old Ford truck. The ‘old guy’ estimated it to be around a 1949 model.

Inside the house more rooms overflowed with antiques, collectibles and candles. A chocolate lab, named Hershey, sprawled across the kitchen floor oblivious to the visitors but more than willing to accept a tummy rub. In a basket in the corner a pair of miniature dachshunds snuggled. (One pure bred, the second a mixed).

We managed to escape with only a tin coca-cola carrier with small coke bottles and a decorative felt pad. I keep saying we don’t need more stuff but once the bug bites there is no turning back.

Our friends snagged large wooden farm tools. I think there is a photo shoot in the future featuring them as the Gothic Couple holding large wooden hay forks and shovels.

Our second stop was a visit with Mrs. Peacock and her antique shop. A great barn contained chairs, dressers, boxes and a giant tooth-brush suitable for the Jolly Green Giant. Mrs. Peacock, an octogenarian, (in the library) remember the game Clue?, offered to serve ‘the old guy’ wine on her patio during our next visit.

Mrs. P made us welcome and shared some of the heritage surrounding her old Victorian home and her late husbands Scottish history.

By this time we were peckish and made our way to a Tim’s for sustenance. Some locals in the restaurant told us about a nearby park with picnic tables. Carrying our food and drink we found a table in a shady spot by the river. Food, friends, conversation and a sunny afternoon was the perfect ending to our day.

Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival

Saturday morning we set out to visit the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival. This is an annual event in a small country village with a population count in 2007 of approximately 700.

It was foggy and rainy as the sun had abandoned us for a drizzly cool day.

The event boasts a bus shuttle to the sugar bush, an Art and Photography Show and Sale, Antique and Nostalgia Show, Craft Show, Mini Golf and Petting Farm. In addition the village shops are open to the visitors meandering along the  sidewalks. Cookies can be purchased at the Sprucewood Shortbread Shop, and Antiques, Clothing or Home Decor are available. Maple syrup can be bought at the Town Hall among the Craft Show offerings.

Our favourite event is the Antiques and Nostalgia Show. What constitutes an antique you ask. It is any old collectible that is desired for its age, beauty or rarity. There may be a personal emotional connection for the buyer. It can be anything that someone is willing to part with cash to own. When I saw Corning Ware Cornflower pattern casseroles on a table I smiled as I have the same dishes in my cupboard, a wedding gift to the “Old Guy” and myself.

As seasoned antique hunters we stroll among the tables looking for that special find. We know to look under the tables and through boxes of odds and ends. It is the thrill of the hunt. Dickering a price and walking away with that special item feeling like you have bested the vendor adds to the excitement. That same vendor no doubt feels the winner in the dealing as well.

On the outing I spied a basket of marble eggs and thought that they would be great for my Easter collection and made a note of which table to return to. I had just arrived and wanted to scout out the other vendors first. Sadly for me someone else liked them as well and they were sold when I returned to the table. I broke the rule of not making an offer on a “one of ” item. My loss.

The “Old Guy” found a ledger belonging to a former ferry operator on the Deseronto Ferry. (circa 1920) Before the Skyway Bridge was built the ferry was the only way to travel between Deseronto and Prince Edward County. After some back and forth negotiating the “Old Guy” became the owner of the ledger.

From the entries in the book we learned that this man also did much of the local road work and hired and managed the men on the jobs. One entry showed a man earning 20 cents per hour for his labours. A pair of gloves was purchased for 20 cents.

We now own a little piece of the history of Deseronto, a town only seven kilometres away.

It was a fun day and we thank the organizers for putting on another successful event offering something of interest for everyone.