Time Management And Exercise

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Life. There are lots of things we all have in common, and some we never will share with one another. There is one thing though that we all have each and every day.

Time. The gift of time.

24 hours in a day,  1440 minutes in that day, 7 days a week.

Sometimes, our time is already plotted out for us…work, sleep, travel, kids, cooking, eating etc.

However, I’d be willing to say that for all of us, we do have a measure of time in our days for random things we choose to do. You know, things that helps us relax or unwind…our leisure time.

Yet, do you know what the biggest thing is I hear from people when talking with them about their health and fitness goals?

I don’t have time for exercise.

I mean.. I’m not gonna argue with them on that…but… let’s think through things that are time guzzlers…

Hanging out on Facebook or any other computer activity

Video games

TV or movie watching

Going out for drinks or to the club

Hobbies or other personal activities

Shopping

Now hear me… there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of these activities. I’m just saying… you really do have time in your day… for what matters to you.

We will always make time for things we want to do, enjoy, or have fun with.

I speak from a place of experience and a place of having once not prioritized exercise in my life.

There was always something else to do or more important than exercise.

I learned I had to be as disciplined about scheduling it as I do my dental and doctor appointments and coffee meetings with friends. Truthfully, when making appointments now, I mentally balance the timing to see if I can get my workout in, clean up, and arrive on time.

Seem crazy? No more so than trying to balance another appointment or activities in the workings of my day.

What I had to learn in my (personal allotted 24 hours) was where could I best place my workout time in that day so I could get it done?

For me,  during early mornings, people are less likely to be making demands on me and my time. During marathon training, getting up in the early dark morning hours ensured I got my very long runs in. I also learned that even though my intentions of doing it “later” or “after supper” were good, the probability of it happening was small.

There were to many demands later in my day. People were awake and needing things. I didn’t feel as energetic ( yeah I know, weird. I can be on the road at 6 a.m. and have a decent energy level, but not so much so at 6 pm. haha)

After taking a look at how my days rolled, what my obligations were, it was easy to start placing my workouts into my allotted time.

Morning was it for me.  I rolled out of bed and into my exercise clothes.  For years it was getting kids off to school, then getting after it. Many mornings, I was up earlier to get it done while people were still sleeping. Now everyone is bigger and gets off to work and school without my help, I can adjust my time back a little more.

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Not only do I get it done, I feel so energetic and SO accomplished getting a good workout in. It sets the tone for my day. When I don’t get to do it, honestly, now it makes me feel “off” and out of sorts.

I guess that’s a good place for me to be now haha

Has it taken discipline to do this? You bet it has. Has it taken time and consistency to train myself into this new “habit”? That goes without saying. But that discipline has also carried over into other areas of my life so I view that as a win/win thing.

So, my challenge to you dear reader, is this.

If you find yourself in this place I’d encourage you to sit down and really look at your week, your activities, appointments etc.

Then consider your daily strengths. Are you a morning person or do you hit your stride more midday or does the evening bring you to life?

Based on your strengths and your daily activities, where do you need to put your “you time”?

Some days might require a little more creative planning. That’s ok. That’s life.

There are occasional days in my life that feel like a runaway train and it just doesn’t happen. I will tell you though, those days are very rare. Again, it all comes back to the fact this has become a disciplined habit for me now.

You have the same 24 hours every day. You really do have time for purposeful exercise to support your busy daily life. It’s up to you to creatively plan and make it happen.

You can do it… and will feel so accomplished when you do =)

Tell me, have you done time management to get your workouts in?

 

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That Whole Age Thing Again

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If you’ve followed me awhile you know I’m big on wanting people to be empowered. I also believe when you start challenging yourself and pushing into new things it empowers and strengthens you, builds a new confidence in you.

I also don’t find age to be an excuse to not tackle new things, to try new adventures, or to improve and strengthen  your body.

I will admit… I have a hard time controlling my face when I hear things that make me twitch.

For instance… when people start talking about how getting old means things fall apart and you have aches and pains and health issues….ok.. but this…dang it… that PRINT does seem to be getting smaller haha…

Anyway, I really try not to let my face get… that look…. on it. The “Oh, pleassssseee” look.

In a world that is more and more sedentary and people view purposeful movement as some kind of fresh hell and don’t want to be made uncomfortable, we are seeing a bigger more wide spread issue of obesity and health issues, you can add those aging aches and pains to that too.

Exercise, done right, can be uncomfortable. It’s easy to come up with excuses or reasons not to… we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone.

Listen up… I’ve preached on this before…our bodies need movement for health and wellness.

Even if you don’t care if you ever see a defined muscle on your body or you want to look like you came off a fitness magazine… your body needs exercise for good health.

People as they age get aches, pains and can’t do things because their bodies haven’t had to do a lot of intentional physical activity…..basically … you use it or lose it. If you don’t do things to build and strengthen muscles, how will you be able to do harder tasks as you age ? Not even the hard ones, but those that should be easy be feel hard.

Yeah, I get it. When you start off you DO feel old and tired haha. Seriously, though, what really happens is you realize you’re out of shape and it’s frustrating. You don’t like the winded, feeling tired, achy, feeling that goes along with it. You wonder if it’s worth it.

But if you’re smart… you keep at it… small little steps at a time…day by day… until those activities don’t leave you feeling like the old lady on the life alert commercials who needs assistance getting up.

Is it really easier? or has your body beautifully adapted to the demands being put on it and….gasp… gotten a little stronger ?

Empowered with your growing strength and abilities, you push on for a little more.

Purposefully working and strengthening your body is, and should be, a life long process.

I’ll share with you a story I saw on the news today. Stories on running, fitness etc (obviously) always catch my attention.

So when the story was announced about a weight lifting grandma, well yeah I wanted to see it. I honestly thought it was going to be about a woman that I follow who is 73 and in better physical shape than woman half or less of her age. She looks incredible. She credits her looks to… surprise…good nutrition, a positive attitude, and staying physically active(she is a body builder)

However, today wasn’t about her. It was about a 78 year old woman who, well, honestly did look like the picture perfect “grandmother”.

Silver hair, glasses, average build, she was in basic knit capris and a t shirt…. deadlifting 225 lbs.! I don’t even deadlift that much yet! Yet there she was slinging it up and down like nothing. The cool thing? Her husband said it was just something “she picked up and started doing recently, and it really surprised him” haha I bet it did!

That means, no matter where you are in life, you can get out there and get started and begin to improve and help yourself right where you are.

Listen I know and understand lots of people have  (health issues or problems) to deal with.  Learn to modify activities to meet your needs and work within that area. My husband had major back surgery years ago and deals with pain that can come and go. My dad had knee replacement and has aches that come with that. Just learn to work where you are and do what you can do.

Don’t let “age” be a crutch to keep you from having and building a stronger body. A strong body lets you be active and energetic for living your life fully =)

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Food And Cheat Days

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It’s hard to believe we are already moving quickly into another year, and yet another holiday is behind us with the celebration of Easter this past weekend.

For many it’s a time of worship, family gatherings, and well, food. As things go with holidays there are special treats and meals that are prepared as we gather in celebration.

Holidays are meant to be enjoyed. Food is meant to be savored and appreciated.

Therefore, I found it semi-amusing when I was asked on Saturday not once, but twice, in different conversations if I allowed myself  “cheat days”.

If you don’t know what this means, in some dieting plans there is a day in the week you’re basically allowed to just eat whatever and enjoy it without any (supposed) guilt for doing it.

The first person to ask me was a friend… he simply inquired if I allowed myself to do that… to have days of indulgence.

The other person was an employee in the store I had chatted with briefly. She was telling me about an asparagus dish involving bacon and she laughed and said ” I know you look really disciplined, but I figure you’ve got to have some cheat days along the way too!”

Ok, I admit, I don’t really “see” myself like others do. Does anyone ?

I know I am a bit more muscular looking than a lot of people roaming around so perhaps there’s an idea I don’t ever touch anything that might be considered “off limits”.

That idea kinda makes me laugh….

So here’s the deal… I’ve never subscribed to the idea of having “cheat days” and I’ll tell you why.

First of all, why would I just want to bomb a whole day needlessly ? And what if I didn’t want anything “off limits” on cheat day ? What if I really need a piece or two of chocolate on a non-cheat day ? Or there’s a special celebration?

On another thought, it also begins to set you up for thinking of foods in “good” or “bad” terms. The idea being you eat bad foods on your cheat day… good foods the rest of the time…

On a personal opinion I’ve just never seen it as a productive idea.

What has helped me be successful and lose weight is balance and moderation of allowing myself things which has kept me from feeling deprived or the need to binge on something because I have withheld it. Somehow, this seems to have worked as I’ve lost weight these past few years and maintained my fitness goals.

This is how I counsel people who are trying to find a balance of losing weight and living this thing called life.

That being said, even though I don’t like setting foods into “good” or “bad” groups, you need to have an awareness that there are definitely foods that support optimal health, keep you well and energetic, that contribute to weight loss and support your fitness goals.

These should make up the majority of your daily diet.

Then there are foods that are enjoyable and make life fun but should be consumed in careful moderation.

There are some “foods” I will never put in my mouth as I see them as wasted, useless, calories that do nothing for me.

When you begin to see foods in this light it also removes guilt that people tend to put on themselves for eating “bad” foods.

I can’t tell you the times I’ve heard people apologize because they had a treat at a party or a piece of birthday cake or something similar. Or worse, feel they have to punish themselves or “work it off”.

Seriously, lose the guilt, stop apologizing. When you make a decision to have something, own it and move on.

As you progress and eating healthy begins to feel what is more normal and natural to you, those other foods honestly, will have less attraction. You will feel better eating healthy foods and (personally) I don’t feel so great if I have a day eating foods my body isn’t used to anymore.

In brief:

Eat healthy, whole foods the majority of the time.

If you need or want something special, consider a small amount to meet that need. Take a moment to decide if it’s really what you want.

Is it something you really love or are you eating it because it’s there?

Don’t lock yourself into one day to go off the tracks. There’s no point in wasting a day or ruining your efforts for the week.

Think moderation and balance.

Guilt is not a part of success. Don’t entertain it.

If you really overdo, just refocus on your goals, pick up, and keep moving forward. Quitting isn’t an option!

 

 

 

 

 

Tips For A Healthier You

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Hello beautiful people of the world =)

As I shared in a previous post, I’m working with a client. A big part of what we’re doing is looking at habits and learning, or re-learning them some of them in regards to behaviors with eating and food.

She is learning the importance of getting meals at balanced times through the day, learning to listen to her body’s natural signals for being hungry ( as well as when it’s comfortably satisfied) avoiding snacking between meals, and focusing on more whole foods.

Whole foods meaning 5 ingredients or less or as close to their natural state as possible. We aren’t being crazy about it, just making it more of a focus.

These are all pretty big things to “re-learn” when you might not be used to eating normally or maybe just grabbing food randomly through the day.  Many people have forgotten or don’t listen to their bodies natural hunger and satisfied signals so these things have to be intentionally practiced.

This week we are taking a look at snacks or extra foods in our day that might be hindering weight loss. My client will be charting pretty much every bit of everything, including any drinks with sugar, alcohol, or anything with caloric value.

She wants to see the scale continue to drop and I want that for her too.

I have her also considering what she is eating at meals. Sometimes stopping with just a little left on your plate is enough to cause more calorie deficit in your day.

And of course, exercise. If you want to get rid of fat, cardio is your friend. Yeah, I know most people hate it.

You sweat. Your heart beats fast. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable. It’s the place you realize that you really are horribly out of shape… which is why it’s so easy to quit… ’cause you don’t like all that.

Don’t quit. Even if you have to work your way up till you can do a full 30 minutes to an hour… you’ll be getting stronger in the process.

Ok… so some tips or suggestions for you … they can be almost painless… and you can drop a few pounds in the process.

Practice eating balanced meals 3-4 times a day ( 4 if you’re more physically active or athletic) eat enough to comfortably satisfy your hunger.

Try not to snack between meals. (when you eat adequately at meals you will find the need to do that will diminish)

Learn to listen to your bodies natural hunger and satisfied signals. Allow yourself to become truly hungry 30 minutes  or so before your next meal.

Try to eat more whole foods ( meaning less stuff out of a box, bag etc)

Be aware of your snacking. To find weak places in your day/week be vigilant and write down everything so you can see where you’re hindering your progress.

Move your body more! Not only is it good for you physically, it’s good for your mental clarity as well.

Learning to listen to your own body and having awareness of how and what you eat are huge steps towards losing weight and getting into a lifestyle change 🙂

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Beautifully Flawed

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I spotted them immediately. Actually, I know where their stalking spot is, but I still have to walk by it.

It makes me feel like a character in Three Billy Goats Gruff where the goats have to get over the bridge or get eaten by a troll.

These… are the modern day trolls.

Who, you might be wondering, do I speak of?

The “skin care” people staked out in kiosks at the mall eager to push on you all of their products. They can be unrelenting in pursuing “customers”.

To get to my favorite stores, I have to be able to successfully navigate through them, much like the goats crossing the bridge in Three Billy Goats Gruff….

It was a lovely day and I was out shopping with my daughter. We had successfully made it through but it was on the way back I got caught by the um… troll ?  All I can say is, I wasn’t fully on my game that day, perhaps I was distracted talking with my daughter but regardless….

He quickly handed a sample off to me and turned around telling me to wait.. and in my head  I’m yelling… “they always, and only, give you one sample… run!”

Yet, somehow, before I knew it, I was planted in his chair listening to him talk to me in some exotic accent as he applied some cream all under my eye proclaiming how it would “help me”

He then produced a picture of a woman, that I kid you not, was in her 80’s with deeply lined wrinkled skin and huge puffy bags under her eyes.. he waves it in my face…

“Do you see this? ” he proclaims…

I choke out.. “are you saying I look that BAD???”

He tells me “no” he’s only trying to show me a “results” picture for his product.

Like, why wouldn’t he show me something I could relate to better ?

Anyway, he keeps babbling on and on about his amazing product and how I’m going to love it…then he says… “Now, I’m going to let you look in the mirror. Please don’t scream.”

I ask him… ” Why? Am I going to look as bad as that woman you just showed me ?”

He tells me no, I will look much better… geez… I left the house that day thinking I looked pretty good….all the sudden I was wondering if there might be a bag I could drop over my head… like I was out in public looking like some gargoyle.

He shows me the mirror and honestly, I can’t tell a huge difference.

I didn’t scream. I did feel like I had someone constantly pulling at the edge of my eye, which was annoying.

He then says proudly, “AND you can use this and not have to use Botox!”

I looked at him and said… “never, in my life, have I considered doing that”

He looked stunned. He looked …well… shocked… he sputtered out… “Really? But don’t you want to look better?”

I told him I wanted to be me, and really, all I honestly wanted was to age gracefully.

No Botox. No surgeries to change my face. No weirdo stuff.

I listened for a bit as he went on … his whole speech really designed to make me ( or anyone ) in his chair feel bad about how they looked… and that using his product would fix me and make me “better” ( his words… “oh, you are a very lovely woman, but I can make you look so much better!”)

He asked me what product I wanted to buy… the one for my face or the one for my hands he had used.

I stood up and told him neither… I hadn’t gone out that day needing any of his products to make me “better”…. and I left.

So let’s get to this … this whole belief right now that seems to permeate so much of the world….all kinds of things from small to extreme in a quest to “stay” young or look it… the attitude that says age and maturity are not “good”, and that you aren’t good enough or you’re somehow “flawed” if you have signs of living life, or the things that make “you” who you are mean you’re “flawed” or you need surgeries  to fix all of the things that are somehow wrong with you…… seriously.

First, I will straight up say, I do what I can to maintain my body and my health. Of course I want to look as good as I can “for my age”. Who shouldn’t or doesn’t want to ?

I have a young, energetic attitude and personality and don’t intend to give that up any time soon…

I’m also smack in the zone of “middle aged womanhood”.

I don’t need to look 20ish… I’m not. I’ve had lines on my forehead for my entire life that are genetic ( mom, grandmother, and I’m sure my great grandmother) probably had too. I don’t need a cream to make them go away… it’s a part of who I am….

Those small laugh and smile lines? Why would I want to hide the years in my life of laughing,  smiling, joy and happiness ?

Why was I listening to a total stranger try and convince me I’m not good enough as I am??

Why do we listen to society or let current beliefs try and convince us we aren’t good enough ? Worse yet, why are we left feeling like we need to apologize???

This is so prevalent in the world today.  You don’t have to look but as far as the nearest magazine or internet story to see all the ways you can get fixed or be made “better”.

I’m not talking about things like… if you need to lose weight to be healthy or do things to keep you well… those are health issues… not superficial issues….

Do the things you like that make you feel good about yourself, there is nothing at all wrong with that.

There’s a big difference in doing things for yourself that make you feel good, or doing things because someone has pointed out you have “flaws” that need fixed.

Take care of your body, maintain your health, physical, spiritual, and emotional. We get one body to use in this world so we need to care for all aspects of it.

Aging is a part of life. How we embrace it and approach it largely depends on each of us.

Yeah, I’m 50ish, yeah I’m perfectly good with it. I’ve lived life and I’m grateful for such a gift.

Whether or not some stranger thinks I have something that needs to be made “better” is totally irrelevant to me.

There’s a lot more to who I am … and besides…. I can still rock the heck out of a little pair of shorts and a tank top so I’m good with that 😉

The whole “you aren’t good enough the way you are” is nonsense. We aren’t flawed or lacking or inadequate.

Stop listening to lies.  Live empowered.

 

 

 

The Power Of You

 

 

I was chatting with my client at our weekly meeting when she told me she had thought of contacting me last year, then again, recently.  This is when she reached out to me in response to my announcement of taking on a client.

She was tired of where she was at and was ready to start making changes in herself, the biggest one being to lose weight.

She had a question that she wanted to ask me, something she had wondered about.

In her battle of start a diet, get discouraged, quit, feel guilty, go back to old patterns and habits ( ’cause those are comfy for all of us) her question was…

“What made you “get it” ?”

She was asking what had clicked in me and been the turning point that I kept on going, didn’t quit and give up and walk away from doing it. How had I kept at it and lost weight ( and kept it off)?

What made me do it and more importantly, stay with it ?

I wish I could say I told her it was some special, magic thing I did. I wish I could just write out the instructions to making everyone be successful who sets out to do it.

I can’t.

You know why ?

The desire, the want, the need, must come from deep inside of you. You have to hunger for that change.

You have to want it badly enough for yourself that you’re willing to make the sacrifices required to get there.

Sacrifices of time and energy, changing behaviors and habits, making yourself uncomfortable, have a willing attitude to be molded into someone different, patience with yourself as you stumble, fall, and get up again, and a tenacious spirit that refuses to give up. Honestly, you even need a practical mind that knows it’s a process that will take time and it won’t be instant gratification.

You have to be at the point where you know you want to do it for yourself because you’re simply tired of where you are and want things differently. Yeah, just let that breathe over you for a second.

The secret is: you have to want it badly enough to do things differently and you have to really, truly, want it for yourself.

My client, is at that point. I think she has all the right elements in place to slowly, steadily move forward and make positive life changes for herself.  She’s learning about food and feeding her body appropriately and at the right times. She’s learning to listen to her body. She also knows it’s a slow process and she’s willing to invest the time to reach her goals. We will continue each week looking at new habits and replacing the not so good ones with better ones. It takes a little time to rework ingrained habits in your life, but it can be done.

So there you go. No magic secret. No gimmick or potion.

The “thing” that got me going, made me start and not quit… well.. that came from within me.. just like it needs to come from within you.

I don’t want to call it “will power” cause that’s so subjective and fickle. Our will power can be gone in an instant. It can be gone in the face of chocolate cake or a lazy morning you don’t “feel” like working out.

No, it has to be something deeper and more powerful. A force to be reckoned with.

That force is you.

Nothing is more powerful than the human mind when it determines to take on something and conquer it. Nothing is more powerful than your mind conquering the limits of your body… nothing….

You’ve got everything in you … you just need to harness it and let it out.

Everything-you-need-is-already-Inside

 

Antiques And Old Junk

So this is just gonna be a fun post. I’d say random, but it’s not really “random” as I’ve had the idea on my list for awhile…. 😉 ( Yes, I have this idea list for when my brain refuses to produce something for me when I demand it or the day hasn’t inspired something, or there aren’t loose thoughts begging to escape my mind… I go to the “list”…)

Todays topic : old junk.

Also referred to by serious people as “antiques”. I guess I loosely think of it as old junk when one of my sons gave me a hard time years ago wanting to know why I wanted “old junk” when I could get new stuff ?

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like new stuff. I have no trouble buying it. But what I tried to explain to them was the fascination I have with the “old junk” … how I wonder about it’s history, where it’s been, who’s had it, the “life” that it’s seen. I especially love being able to restore, clean and salvage something that otherwise might not see another day. It can be a rewarding project.

You may have read my blog around Christmas time on my collection of cardboard houses ( go find it ) , a definitely antique Christmas village with the “youngest” piece being 50ish years old, to the oldest pieces coming in around 85 years. It’s amazing to me cardboard pieces  have survived that long.

So I thought I’d share with you some of my collection of “old junk” … some of you out there might relate and even have an interest in it yourself.. if so please share with me .

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I’ll start with this… what I just mentioned… the village… you can still go find my blog on it 😉 All are pieces I’ve scraped and fought for over the past few years( and by that I mea outwitting big collectors with lots of money on Ebay)  The orange church in the back was an Ebay purchase for 9.99. My family teased me unmercifully about it as the windows  and part of the back had been chewed out by mice and I had to rebuild the structure around them it had no steeple and I had to make that as well as make stained and aged cotton for the cotton roof. I wanted to maintain the integrity as much as possible of the original look and not change it.  The steeple I painted… the church is original color. I think I got it pretty close. Most of the pieces have just required careful cleaning or some window replacement as those don’t weather so well.

I have bigger pieces in my “old junk” collection. Like a trunk I got at a garage sale for 15.00. The lady told me her dad had used it in the service… she didn’t think it was a big deal.

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I googled it up when I got home, found someone who dealt in old trunks and found out it was a steamer trunk made in the 1880’s!  Score me. I cleaned the moth eaten paper out of the inside, cleaned it up somewhat and left in as original as I could. It works great holding old photos for me now.

My son dragged home for me one day a Coca Cola ice box someone had given him. He knew I liked “old junk”. It turns out the thing really is a pricey antique. Again, score me 😉

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One of his friends had a steamer trunk and didn’t want to mess with it… guess who got it ? 🙂 This nicely holds the various exercise equipment I use when I do quick workouts inside.

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Oh and then there’s this cool little table with a glass tray that lifts off. It was supposedly used when guests came. You used the top as a serving tray.

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I’m fortunate to have my grandparents bedroom set. I refinished it and have repurposed various pieces around my house.

 

One great find was an old table and chair set my neighbor was selling for…5.00. Yeah. 5 bucks. It was water stained, dusty, dirty, and had one leg off ( I felt pretty confident my amazing hubby could handle that part of repair) it had been her mothers, she had grown up with it, and was tired of looking at it. I loaded it up and took it home. With a little hard work it is a fun usable piece in my home now. She couldn’t believe what it looked like when I showed her the finished result.

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A little look at what the condition was before I started…

 

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This was after a little work on it 😉

 

And my recent acquisitions…. I was coming home last Sunday from a road trip and my neighbors down the road were cleaning out their barn ( the family has lived there for years) and they had a big “Free” sign by it all.

Of course… I had to stop…. after 3 1/2 hours on the road… of course I had to stop and look 😉

I couldn’t drag to much home as I had my bike and other stuff still loaded up. What I did walk off with ? Yet another Coca Cola ice box that desperately needs cleaning, an old croquet set, and a cool window frame ( I secretly hope Pinterest offers up some clever ideas for me to resurrect it with 😉 there were a few other things I wanted… of course when I went back later they were gone…. oh well 😛

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My collection of cool free stuff…weird dog not included….

 

 

Anyway, that’s a little of my favorite “old junk” now tell me if you like stuff like this (antique) ? Do you have any favorite finds ?