What I Did Instead: Peanuts, Costumes, and Furniture–All Locally
This weekend, instead of being on the computer, I celebrated Toby’s birthday. He’s walking, jabbering, and enjoying chocolate buttercream frosting. And not so much the cake itself, even when it won’t make nearly as much of a glorious mess because it’s white.
I did not read my Friend’s Page on Livejournal or Freshly Pressed on WordPress; instead, I had wonderfully satisfying and thoughtful conversation with my husband in the car. While we came back from Gleneden Beach, where Toby’s Grandpa and Nana were staying for the week.
Instead of commenting and updating on Facebook, I exerted my opinion by filling out my local voting ballot. You’ll be proud of me because I did it while I was on a weekend getaway. Just don’t think badly of me because I was too occupied with a crying baby to turn it in; Just’In kindly did it for me. Why was Toby crying and immobile? Well, you would be too if you just got five shots in one doctor’s visit and couldn’t move your legs because of them.
I would have been checking my Email, clearing it of spam and corresponding digitally; instead, I was playing games with a swollen-eyed, peanut-allergy baby in the emergency room. One day after he turned one, I decided to give him a taste of peanut butter on bread. He enjoyed it, picking up piece by piece, until he decided he was tired. And with messy fingers, rubbed peanut butter in his eyes.
After phone calls with a doctor’s office, yowling in the car ride, and a happy wait in a hospital room next to the ER desk, we saw redness and hives up one arm. It’ll probably be the only peanuts he will ever try in his lifetime.
During the month of October, I’ve discovered several local stores. After we realized the theater costume sale we were looking forward to was too far away, Just’In found a wonderful stuffed-to-the-brim costume/vintage shop for me called Lil’ Gypsy.
There, I got a pair of grey Arabian pants, of the belly-dancing or Aladdin variety and a florescent green, floor-length, swirling and sweeping skirt that just can’t help being polyester. Also, a pair of kelly green gloves to finish off my Halloween costume this year; I was an orange flowerpot while Toby was a bumblebee and Just’In was our gardener. And the finishing touches on my costume were thanks to this shop.
The store itself is kind of amazing; its stock is clearly and carefully considered and is chock full of quality. The proprietess is specific in her purchases for the shop, and the things there reflect that. For a girl who is used to wading through thrifty crap to find the good stuff, this is creamy, immediately deliciousness. The last thing I love? It’s clearly local because all the signs are handmade.
I also bought a desk at a wonderful furniture shop called Serendipity. They often have listings on Craigslist, which is where I discovered them. I’ve mentioned the store to two lived-here-for-twenty-years Oregonians, at different times & in different places, and neither never heard of it. Man, are they missing out. The store is an old house and every nook and cranny is filled with things to buy, things to look at, things to handle and admire. Things that are pretty.
It’s a consignment shop originally owned by three sisters. They have lots of furniture, but everything on, around, and inside the furniture is also for sale. It’s also definitely a girley shop, but Just’In wouldn’t at all mind owning the house they use.
Our next shop stop is Engleberg Antiks. While my in-laws were in town, we breezed through their basement chock-full of furniture in the search of a toy box. That basement is stuffed, just stuffed, and all of it in excellent condition. I stopped, in our breezing action, many times, to admire and comment, but didn’t see anything that immediately fit the bill. I had a list of criteria from Just’In and none of it applied to what I found appealing. I’ll be going back with my boys, to take a second look, before we start shopping seriously online.
Here’s a final note that does not include shopping: if you live in the Salem area, and if you are a regular pedestrian (like me) or you ride a bike (like Just’In), you must fill out this Bike & Walk Survey by the City of Salem’s Transportation Planning Manager. Yes, yes. Must, must. A city could always be better, and there’s plenty of chances to comment about places in your neighborhood that need improvement.