Posted by: evesmarketing | October 30, 2015

Collectibles – What are they?

Collectibles – What are they?

What is a collectible? If you ask different people, they would describe collectibles as items collected during a fad and saved for years hoping the item would gain value. Some collectibles do, but other may lose their value for many reasons. Others might describe a collectible as more on the personal level as collecting a certain pattern on a dish as it reminds them of their departed parents. An old Webster dictionary states: “To gather; assemble.” A dictionary on the internet describes collectibles as: “an object suitable for a collection, originally a work of fine art or an antique, now including also any of a wide variety of items collected as a hobby, for display, or as an investment whose value may appreciate.”  The sad part…many items that have been thrown away years ago have become valuable collectibles today. No one can guarantee what items we have today will become valuable in the future.

What Makes us Want to Collect Items?

So have you wondered, what makes us want to collect certain items” i.e. ? i.e. the fisherman looking for old lures to bring back memories; the collector of die-cast car to reminisce about his younger years; or the cook wanting to collect old depression glass or maybe cookie jars. Maybe, it was while on a vacation and you found yourself collecting postcards, spoons, or other memorabilia of each place you visited. How about walking along the beach and picking up sea shells to take home. We all had something within us that triggered the desire to collect something special. But what about the unusual or weird things people collect?

What are some Weird Items People Collect?

vintage toilet paper

Vintage toilet paper

1. Toilet paper – and yes there is even a web site complete with a Visitor’s Guide, Exhibit Hall, Site Map, and Blob The Virtual Toilet Paper Museum.

“Maybe they should have a toilet paper museum. Would you like that? So we can see all the toilet paper advancements down through the ages. Toilet paper in the Crusades. The development of the perforation. The first six-pack. ” Jerry Seinfeld.

tea bag envilopes

Collection of tea bag envelopes

2. Tea Bags – It wasn’t until 1908 Thomas Sullivan was credited for the little bags or “tea bags.” At first they were made of silk, and then gauze and finally strained paper. Prior to this time, tea was loose and stored in wooded boxes. History has it 1960 was when the tea bag wrappers begun to be a fashion. Today tea bags come in all shapes, colors, with or without labels. So the collector can now have a stimulating, no-cost hobby of collecting these different tea bags and wrappers. There is even a web site for the collector and a tea bag collectible club.

scratch off lotto tickets

collection of scratch off lotto tickets

3. Lotto Scratch tickets- When you have scratched off your card, do you throw away the card? Well. There are collectors who collect these scratched off cards…this art of collecting scratch cards is called lotology. Some collectors have been collecting these cards for over twenty years! The lottery tickets, new or scratched off, is now being called the collectible of the 21’s century. Here is their web page.

pet rock collectible

Pet Rock Collectibles

4. Pet Rocks –  I find it unbelievable how many people bought rocks with faces painted on them at flea markets.. Some didn’t have anything on them, just a piece of paper with information about how the rock was a pet to keep around. All you had to do was to dig up rocks in your back yard and then sell them as a pet rock. Did you buy one of these pet rocks? Did you also discover…they eat very little …hardly make any noise…and never have to go out at night to potty? They are a wonderful watch dog. Any intruder can easily be discouraged by throwing your pet rock at him hard!!

Have you ever wondered how the pet rock got started? It all started one night in April of 1975 when Gary Dahl, from California an advertising man, was having drinks with his buddies. During the night the men’s conversation turned to their pets. Not having a pet, Mr. Dahl informed his friends he had a pet rock. He described the pet rock as an ideal pet, easy to care for it and cheap plus had a great personality. Of course his buddies started to tease him about it and before long they too were tossing around the notion of a pet rock. Soon the fad spread across the nation. See the Pet Rock Page.   Now you maybe sitting there reading this story and laughing…but Gary Dahl sold 1.5 million of these Pet Rocks at $4.00 each and became a millionaire.

poster of dangerous santa

Dangerous Santa’s Collectibles

5. Dangerous Santa – Here is a new one…Dangerous Santa advertisements and assorted dangerous Christmas items. Apparently this has caught folk’s attention at exhibits. Who would have thought?….a Dangerous Santa collection? Collections includes stories, advertisements, and items that were dangerous in their time. i.e. Bird lights that caught on fire, things that exploded and Santa hawking scary things. You really need a sense of humor for collecting these collectibles. Check out this dangerous Santa poster.

sock monkeys collectibles

Sock Monkeys Collectibles

6. Sock Monkeys – As a child, I remember these sock monkeys, but never thought they would become a collector’s dream. The red heel socks were made by the Nelson Knitting Mills in 1932. They milled the heel red to distinguish their product from imitators. No one knows for sure if the first monkey socks were made by crafters at home. In 1951 the company enclosed sock monkey instructions with each pair of socks they sold. Today, you can find a Blog which was written about the sock monkeys,  You can also visit an annual Sock Monkey Madness Festival held in Rockford, Illinois… you can actually make a sock monkey yourself from one of their patterns, or just purchase them.   You can pick up old sock monkeys at flea markets for around $25.00 up to hundreds of dollars for the larger sock monkeys.

air sickness bags poster

Air Sickness Bags Poster for Sale

7. Air sickness Bags

Yes, there is a collector(s) of these bags. There is even a museum displaying many different bag designs. Yes, they are “puke” free!! A poster of these airbags has been created and it is for sale for that “someone who has everything” except a poster of airsickness bags.

This Air Sickness Bags Poster might make an excellent conversational piece for your bathroom.

string collecting

String Collecting

8. String – Ed Fouts is just one of many people who collect string. He started in 1941 and now has 178 miles of string. He says he used every string that has been used in the large ball. He tied each end of newer string to his oldest string making a perfectly round ball 4’ 6” high and weighs 338 pounds. He kept track of the time that went into tying/knotting the strings and states he has 293 hours of work invested in the ball of string. When asked why he collected string…he responded he had read a newspaper article just before the war on getting a hobby to forget your worries and live longer. He said it works and he enjoys watching people’s eye widen when they see his ball of string. To see the full newspaper article…

toilet seats in museum

Toilet Seats in Museum

9. Toilet Seats – This is one time you don’t have to worry if the seat is up or down. These toilet sears have been artistically decorated with many different scenes and are displayed in the home of Texan …Barney Smith. Over the last 30 years, he has collected over 700 toilet seats and has them on display in his over sized garage he calls his “Museum”  Now you know what to do with your old seat when you have to get a new toilet seat. Save the old seat, decorate it and hang it in your home for a new décor and conversational piece. Hint cut out a large portrait of someone you don’t like and put it under the lid.

burnt food museum

Burnt Food Museum

10. Museum of Burnt Food – Believe it or not…there is a collection of accidentally burnt foods in a museum. The museum was founded around 1980 when “Deborah” …put a small pot of Apple Cider on the stove to heat. While the apple cider was heating, she received a phone call. Now, I am sure we all can relate to this. Deborah’s phone call took a long time causing her to forget about the Apple Cider heating on the stove. When she returned to the kitchen she found what appeared to be a “Cinder”. Her exhibit at the museum is called “Free Standing Hot Apple Cider.”

I am sure we all could add to this collection with our hands tied behind our backs. In fact some of the burnt food images looked as if they might have come from our house!

Believe it or not this was only 10 weird or unusual collectibles. There are many more i.e. Graham Barker’s Navel Fluff Collection; Joseph W. Lauher’s Handcuffs; Phil Miller’s Sugar Packets; The Asphalt Museum; The Chocolate Wrappers Museum; Scott Weed’s Date Nails; or even Dr. Val Kolpakov’s toothpaste Collection. The list goes on and on. Who knows you may even have one yourself others would say it was weird or unusual. Hope you have enjoyed our “What are Collectibles” and a look into what 10 Weird/Unusual Collectibles people have collected.
At Gifts & Collectibles Galore (, we love sharing several weird or unusual collectibles we found with you. In our next Blog we would like to share some more common collectibles. Thanks for visiting with us at Gifts & Collectibles Galore (

Posted by: evesmarketing | January 24, 2015

RV for Sale

Looking for adventure this year? We have a 2000 Journey Winnebago RV, motor home for sale. Reduced: $47,500


2000 Winnebago Journey Class A Diesel Pusher RV For Sale

There comes a time in our lives when we have to re-evaluate our life style for many reasons; getting older, health issues, etc.  We have reached a time in our lives when we too must re-evaluate our life and our “toys”.  We have for many years loved flea markets and have many exciting stories of our adventures when settling at flea markets especially the storms.

One of our prides was our 2000 thirty-four foot Journey Winnebago RV.  The RV was our home away from home while working at the flea markets, when entertaining guest, and when going on vacation. Ever wish for a vacation that would allow you to just lock your home’s door and leave?  No reservation…no hassle….no packing or unpacking heavy suit cases and no deadlines to meet?  Just taking your time and enjoying the sights; stopping where…

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Posted by: evesmarketing | January 19, 2015

RV for Sale

2000 Winnebago Journey Class A Diesel Pusher RV For Sale

There comes a time in our lives when we have to re-evaluate our life style for many reasons; getting older, health issues, etc.  We have reached a time in our lives when we too must re-evaluate our life and our “toys”.  We have for many years loved flea markets and have many exciting stories of our adventures when settling at flea markets especially the storms.

One of our prides was our 2000 thirty-four foot Journey Winnebago RV.  The RV was our home away from home while working at the flea markets, when entertaining guest, and when going on vacation. Ever wish for a vacation that would allow you to just lock your home’s door and leave?  No reservation…no hassle….no packing or unpacking heavy suit cases and no deadlines to meet?  Just taking your time and enjoying the sights; stopping where you want…Does this sound like a dream?  Well…it’s not!!!  Why?  Because as an owner of a motor home/RV you are taking your home with you!  All you need is the key to start it up and go…ever night you sleep in your OWN clean bed and wake up to new scenery outside!

We are going to sell our RV ‘Home away from Home’ to a lucky family looking for adventure.  If you are looking for a home away from home, check out this RV:

2000 Winnebago Journey Class A Diesel Pusher 34 ft. Motor Home

2000 journey winnebago rv

Price:  $48,900    Reduced – $39,900


  • Size: 34 Ft.

34 foot journey winnebago rv

  • Type: Class A- Diesel Pusher (MPV)

diesel pusher back view rv

  • Model: WKP34B

Rv Roof

  • Color: L78
  • GVWR: 24,850 lb; 11,272 Kg
  • Odometer: 40,100
  • Chassis: Freightliner
  • Engine: Cumins
  • Generator: Propane
  • Four Air Suspension air bags
  • Power Mirrors with heaters
  • Rear view Monitor System with TV and Sound
  • Fuel Capacity:  90 Gal
  • Engine Block Heater
  • Fresh water Tank:  Holds 86 gals
  • Black Water Tank: Holds 48 gals
  • Flushing Black Water Holding Tank
  • Gray Water Tank: Holds 52 gals
  • Propane: Holds 39 gal. W.C.
  • “J” Shape Kitchen

'j' style kitchen

  • One Slide Out – Creates a nice Roomy Feel with Kitchen and Sofa Area
  • Air Conditioning
  • Furnace runs on either electricity or propane
  • Awning – 3 years old and only used once

awning on side of rv

  • Sleeps 5 people
  • Queen Bed

walk around queen bed

cabinets on each side of bed

  • Coffee Maker
  • TV/VCR
  • Dinette Table with seating (Also makes into a bed)

dinette set

  • Rocker Recliner with foot rest

rocker chair with foot rest

  • Driver’s seat and front passenger seat swivel to become part of the living room for more seating

front seats swivel

  • Couch makes into bed (Sleeps 2)

couch makes into bed

  • Compartment area for compact apartment size stacked washer and dryer…or use for storage (Currently used for linens)

closet for washer and dryer or as linen closet

waher and dryer area

  • Norcold Refrigerator with Freezer and Ice Maker (Electric with land line or Propane when traveling


pull out cabinet

  • CO Gas Warning Alarm
  • Magic Chief Stove with 4 burner, oven, and broiler – Propane
  • Hood over stove with lights and exhaust fan

stove,exhaust fan & microwave

  • Microwave
  • Power Roof Vent in Kitchen
  • Emergency Exit Window in Back Bedroom
  • One Key Lock System
  • Plenty of Cabinets and Storage: Living room, above & across front driver’s window, kitchen above and below sink, washer & dryer area, under dinette seats, pull our cabinet next to refrigerator, across back wall of bedroom, under bed, on each side of bed, bathroom on wall and under vanity

cabinets above couch

  • Bathroom Facilities Shower, Toilet, Sink and Vanity

bathroom vanity & cabinets

view of door to shower

  • Hot Water Heater
  • Digital Satellite System
  • Plenty of storage in basement with 4 storage compartments
  • One Basement compartment has Entertainment Center with pull out Table, Power source & AM/FM Radio
  • Outside Shower for washing sand/mud off before entering RV
  • Hydraulic jacks (back spring on driver side sluggish going back up)
  • Brand New – 2 House Batteries and 2 Engine Batteries

If you are looking for adventure and ready to travel…please send us an email for further information:

Happy Traveling!!!

Do the younger generations collect glassware?  Or is this only for the older generation?

sun question mark

Over the last several years, I have sold Depression glass, Indiana glass, Fenton glass, and many more types of glassware.

pink vintage indiana bowl

Vintage Pink Bowl

In addition…I too have been a collector of this vintage glassware and have a collection of depression dishes myself. My mother had jewel tea dishes which she used and I still have many of them today.

jewel tea bowls

In the last 5 – 8 years, have noticed a drastic drop in my glassware sales, both online and at the flea market and have asked myself: have the sales dropped off due to the economy and unable to afford them, or is the newer generation no longer interested in glassware of the past?

sales chart going down

Another seller of glassware has sold out her glassware and is selling other items also due to the drop in her sales for vintage glassware items.


Today’s generation seems to be in the fast lane, spending very little time at home unless they have children.   Some people seem to be working longer hours or working two jobs just to make ends meet. Has this had an impact on collecting vintage glassware? Are we so busy, we don’t take time to reminisce of the past?

burning candle at both ends

As my husband and I grow older, we wanted our estate to be in order so our children would not have to worry about what to do with our possessions, home, furniture, and other assets. So…we asked our sons and daughter, what antiques or things would they like when we are gone?

(I had head of a story that was unique. An older mother and father got all their children together and had given them each the same amount of play money. The mother and father auctioned off their possessions with their children paying for the items with their play money. Each item was written down as to which child the item was to go. The idea was when the couple died…each child would receives the items they won in the play auction.)

monopoly money imageNow you wonder why I told you this true story. My husband and I are also getting older and wondering if our children would want any of our many collectibles. To our surprise…each said no to go ahead and sell them for expensive we might need over the coming years.


They also said they just do not have room to start collecting glassware or other collectible item. Plus, my husband and I had talked about our need to start downsizing our home. The older we get the harder it is to maintain and our children are not close enough to help us. Some of my items belong to my mother and her mother so was very surprised when they did not want them especially her beautiful vase which is over 100 years old.

what are the young the younger generation no longer wanting collectibles of yesterday years today; are they just not interested in glassware; or is there a new type of collectible they are interested in today? Gifts and Collectibles Galore would like to hear your thoughts on this matter. Is the younger generation not interested in the glassware of yesterday? What are they collecting if any?

stick man question mark

Posted by: evesmarketing | August 15, 2014

August – What do we know about the month of August?

month of august

August – What do we know about the month of August?  I was thinking about how fast summer came on and now is about over. Then I thought about all the months which have holidays both big and small; i.e. January- New year’s day and Martin Luther King Day; February – Valentine’s Day, President’s Day; March – Saint Patrick’s Day, sometimes Easter; April – Easter; May – Memorial Day; June – Beginning of summer vacations, also the month for weddings; July – Independence day, Christmas in July; August ??; September; Labor Day; October – Columbus Day, Halloween; November – Thanksgiving; December – Christmas. But what dose August offer as far as holidays?

So I started doing a net-search to find out what holidays are in August! Basically, it’s a month for getting ready for school… for buying school supplies and for paying real estate taxes (if you are in a state which requires them). My research discovered articles by Pam Gaulin, by Tonya Mickelson and by Lisa Mason. These articles listed some little known August holidays that you will find listed below!

happy lammas day

August 1st – has Girlfriends Day and Lammas Day. If you haven’t heard of Lammas Day…it’s the day of Thanksgiving in Britain. Farmers were very superstitious and would let their first corn bread go stale… then they would crumble it over the corners of their barns! This ritual was performed in hopes of bringing them good luck!

ice cream cone

National Ice Cream Day

August 2nd – National Mustard Day and National Ice Cream Day – Make your favorite dishes using mustard and celebrate the holiday with a cookout. Don’t forget your favorite ice cream and mustard too!


united states coast guard

 August 4th – 1790 the Coast Guard was established to aid and protect our water ways. Today, they are also responsible for the safety on our water ways… they average rescuing 12 people  daily! U.S.C.G. is always prepared and ready to serve… Hence their motto Semper Paratus, “always ready”.


psychic week

August 4 – 8 is Psychic Week – If you are into this type of entertainment, you might want your psychic to look into your future and advise you on luck, on health, or on fortune. If a psychic tells you… look both ways when crossing the street… or don’t eat or drink after sick people… or tells you to invest in gold and keep your gold buried under your big- viscous-pit-bulldog’s dog house…then this is a wise psychic!


national yard sale day                                                                                                                       National Yard Sale Day

August 9th National Garage Sale Day – Hey…this one is for me! I love going around to garage sales just to see if I can find anything that I really don’t need or want.

happy lazy day

August 10th Lazy Day – yes, there is a day we can celebrate being lazy! I’m not sure if your boss will enjoy seeing you celebrating it while at work!!

kool aid day

August 12th – Kool-Aid Day– Grab your picnic baskets… load up some goodies… stir up some Kool-Aid and have fun with the family!


middle child

The middle child

August 13th – Middle Child’s Day– Here is a chance to spend quality time with your middle child! If you don’t know the old adage, I’ll explain it now…The first child is pampered and protected…the second child is left alone and explores the world on its own… the last child is cherished and held close to a mother’s heart, for she knows there will be no other!


 nantional thrift day

August 17th National Thrift shop Day– If you prefer not to shop on this day then , use this holiday as a time to… clean out your closets… clean off shelves and go thru drawers! Then donate your old items to your thrift shop. It’s a win, win, situation. Besides, you will have more space to fill up with new finds!


poets dayAugust 21st – Poet’s Day– Husband, you can use this day to say something romantic to your wife. Wife, you can use this day to remind your husband you are still here and some need some kind words to keep you!


homless help dog

August 21st – National Homeless Animal Day – You might like to go an animal shelter and check out the animals or donate money to your favorite animal organization.


kissing day

August 25th – National Kiss and Make Up Day… I love this day because it gives you an excuse to kiss your love ones… AND… you don’t have to have a reason to do so… but it does show them that you love them.


dog day with two dogs running

August 26st – National Dog Day– Have a party with your dog and enjoy the day together.


August may not have BIG holidays, but as you can see, it does have a few less famous holidays. AND…these are just a few that I found! Besides, there are other reasons to remember the month of August. There are many different types of Festival and cultural events occurring in this month;


flea market in Indiana

Flea Market in Indiana

Many times, the hottest days fall in August. It has also been said… if the first week in August is a hot one, the winter will be a cold and white one. Another August saying goes…count the fogs in the month of August and this will tell you how many snow falls you will have through the winter.


willy worm

Willy worm

And let’s not forget the WILLY WORMS adage…If black – cold hard winter; if brown – warm light winter.

Also, DON’T FORGET… August is just four months away from Christmas and the time will get busier as you get closer to Christmas. Since August is a slower month, take advantage and start your Christmas shopping early. If you prefer to shop on line to avoid large crowds, weather, or parking issues, be sure to join us on Gifts and Collectibles Galore. If you are shopping for your pets…join us at Doggie Dog Coats. We all wish you a happy August!!

Posted by: evesmarketing | January 22, 2014

History of the Limited Treasures Stuffed Collectible Bears


Do you remember the Beanie Baby fad and how customers would stand in line just to get one beanie bear?  The fad of the Beanie Baby as we knew it back then has come and gone. Yes, the beanie babies are still out there but new fads evolved. The U.S. Mint state quarters combined with cute 9” collectible stuffed bears.

The story of the cute state collectible coin bears begins

 In October 15, 1998  the company Limited Treasures, Inc.   started producing 9” stuffed collectible bears called home heroes.  These small stuffed bears consisted of a police, rescue fire bear, Army bear, Navy, Air Force and Marine bears, and more.

Then in 1999, the U.S. mint initiated a new state quarter program featuring each of the nation’s states in the order they were ratified by the constitution or admitted into the Union.  The 50 State Quarters were to be minted over a 10 year period with five different states being released each year. Each state quarter was to be produced for about 10 weeks and then never to be produced again which made the earlier  coins harder to find.  And so, collectors started collecting the states quarters as they were released.  Seeing this as an opportunity, Limited Treasures decided to start making State Quarter Coin Bears by sealing a state quarter into the paw of each bear.


During this time, Limited Treasures started producing state quarter coin bears about 6-8 weeks after the U.S. state quarters were released.  Each bear was designed with different colors and its statehood number on the bears left foot.  An actual U.S. minted state quarter was mounted on its right paw.  The date the statehood was embroidered on the side of its right leg.  (See chart below for each state and statehood.)  To give the bears more history, the state’s name was embroidered across the chest of the bear with the outline shape of the state the bear representative.  Inside the shape of each state. an embroidered star was located representing  the approximate location of the state’s capital.

Image#41 Montana – Star represents the state capital

Hang Tags


Front on Hang Tags

Each bear has a Limited Treasures Coin Bear Hang Tag.  Inside each hang tag is  information about each state describing the state flag; information about the state flower, state bird, nickname, capital, and statehood.  These cute collectible bears not only had the state quarters representing their state…but also contained educational information about each state.


Inside Hang Tag Facts about each State

On the butt of each bear is a small label bearing Limited Treasures trade mark.  On back of label is the date bear was manufactured and information about the material used in the bear:  “All New Material Polyester Fiber and P.E. Pellets.”

To verify the bear and state quarter was an authentic Limited Treasures collectible coin bear, a counterfeit resistant hologram was placed on the back of each hang tag.


At this time, there were other companies making small stuffed bear and placing a state quarter on the chest of the bears, but these bears did not seem  to be as popular as the Limited Treasure state quarter coin bears.



Since the state quarters were not being produced any more, many of the state quarters were becoming limited.  As long as Limited Treasures was able to obtain the quarters, the bears continued to be made. However, many of the quarters are no longer available for the bears…thus some bears are no longer being produced and are becoming very limited.  Several of the retailers are no longer able to obtain them for sale now. So when trying to buy any of the Limited Treasure bears, be sure the retailer has the bear before you buy.

Since the value of the quarter goes up each year, especially the earlier quarters… will this also have impact on the value of the bears over time?  The state quarters have been the envy of collectors and many of the uncirculated and quality quarters are no longer in circulation due to being collected making the quarters more valuable.  But, with time and the decreasing available of quality mint quarters, I ask the question.   Will these cute collectible bears become more valuable over time?  I believe they will!  So hang on to your cute educational, state quarter coin bears!!  And, if you have not started collecting these cute education coin bears….what are you waiting for?  These bears are all retired so don’t miss out on the chance of collecting each state’s history.

Thanks for sharing with us from Gifts and Collectible Galore at

Posted by: evesmarketing | September 23, 2013

Help my House is on Fire Cont: The Move in with a New Surprise

Help my House is on Fire Cont:  The Last Chapter- The Move in with a New Surprise

We are finely nearing the end of our long journey… well maybe. The final walk though inspection was completed… some minor problems were found and a list was made as to what needed to be done. Our daughter had just arrived from work and had just come into the modular as we were going though the last room…As we were talking about the items on the list, Chuck reached into his pocket and handed C.J.  (this is what we call our daughter… Carole Jane) the KEYS and spoke those BEAUTIFUL, PRECIOUS, WORDS… YOU MAY NOW MOVE IN!  Chuck explained the work that needed to be done was insignificant and would not hamper the move in.  So… it was decided to get going as fast as possible and start the move it! C.J. started calling her friends to make arrangements and to get help lined up for the move-in.  While she was doing her thing, my husband and I started to go to Danville to do some shopping.  See… The modular didn’t  have light bulbs… so my husband and I started to Danville which is a 45 min. drive to buy about 20+ light bulbs while our daughter continued her calling for helpers.  During the last 2-3 months C.J. had… been given furniture by various people; had Sidell’s Fun Committee hold a benefit for her allowing her to shop around for replacement items and go to backyard sales and auctions.  This resulted in us having to rent medium size storage space from the Sidell Storage Buildings so C.J. could store the items she had gotten.  Also, she had many items tucked every where in MOM & DAD’S home!  Now all she had to do was get people to help her get everything  into the NEW HOME!

front of new home

Front of New Home

While C.J. was doing her thing, my husband and I were on our way to get those bulbs and to get C.J. a welcoming present of house hold cleaning supplies… just like we got when we got married some many years Ago! First, we stopped and got the basics: a broom and dust pan, a toilet bowl brush, some furniture polish, dish soap… you get the idea?

cleaning supplies

Cleaning Supplies

Next, we proceeded to Lowes for the light bulbs.

light bulbs

Light Bulbs

We had just finished loading our cart and were heading for the check-out counters, when my cell phone started singing. I picked it up and said a cheery” hell-o”. That’s when I was greeted by a panic call from my daughter!

private BR for tub and toilet

Private area in master BR for shower and toilet – Leak in wall of shower

She proceeded to explain that there was water running all over the bathroom’s floor and it was deep enough to run into the floor register!  She went on to tell us, she could hear water running inside the wall behind the shower!  HERE WE ARE IN DANVILLE… a 45 min. drive back to Sidell… it’s Friday night late this means no one will be at Riley’s… I do not have Chuck’s phone number with me… Needless to say we QUICKLY CHECKED OUT and started for Sidell!

As we pulled into Sidell, we saw our Chief of police, Mr. Huff, in his car.

police car

Mr. Huff Chief of Police

We flagged him down and told him about our problem. He said he would get hold of our city water man, Mr. Brown, and get the water shut off. This is why we moved to a small town… people help each other… we are truly blessed!  We felt bad for our daughter…but.. here she is moving into her new home and no water for the whole week end!!

person on cell phone

Chuck is at home!

So when I got home, I found Chuck’s cell phone number and called right away… I know it was a long shot, but I had to try any way… AND GUESS WHAT… Chuck answered!!!! I explained our water problem to him… as I was explaining, in walks our Mr. Brown ready to shut the water off. I told Chuck about Mr. Brown’s arrival ready to shut off the water at the meter and Chuck said we had a shut off valve in our crawl space… I was amazed at this point and that’s when my woman’s instincts kicked in and I did what any red blooded woman would do… I turned the phone over to Mr. Brown, so Chuck and Mr. Brown could talk and shut the water to the shower off… leaving the rest of the water on!  To my surprise Chuck said he would come over this weekend and fix the leak! What service…both from our town of Sidell and from Riley’s Manufactured homes!

fixing leaking pipe

Fixing leaking pipe

The rest of the weekend was hard, exhausting work… still it was fun realizing our daughter was finally getting into her own home!

trailer loaded down

Trailer loaded down

more items on top of car

More items on top of car

For us it meant … No more having: to pull out our sofa bed every night; to share 1 bathroom with 5 people; to have 4 dogs and limited space. Now do not get me wrong, I would do it all over in a heartbeat! Now, our daughter has three bedrooms and two baths with large closets. She has a walk in pantry, a breakfast bar/ island and more cabinet-storage space than ever before… THIS IS HER DREAM COME TRUE HOME!

dining area with patio door

Dinning Area with door to patio

kitchen with island

Kitchen with island in center

walk in pantry in kitchen

Walk in Pantry in Kitchen

master bathroom with soaker tub

Master bathroom with soaker tub

Utility room, Mud Room

Utility room, mud room

master bedroom

Master bedroom

large walk-in closet

Large walk-in Closet

To Date, our journey has been a long and very emotional one… at times a test of our resolve and spirit, yet through it all, His guidance has led us through the valley of shadows…His hands have held us when we thought we could not go on another minute… and above all else… He has opened doors for us… Truly we are blessed and our resolve and spirit are stronger now than ever before! God’s promise has been at work many times on our journey… “Behold, I am with you always” and friends… He has!!

We once again want to thank our Met life insurance adjuster,……and Met life for walking us through this replacement process… from the very night of the fire in February, to even now, they have been working with us to be sure all has been done before closing our case.  Another thank-you must go to Riley’s Mfg. Homes and all of their people who have worked so hard under BRUTAL conditions… both from us and from Mother Nature… to get the “rebuild” done. It seemed like a long…long…long time, but it has only been 5 months and 1 week, from the fire to the move -in time in July! The crews did a fantastic job from laying the foundations, placing the modular home, and to finishing the interior… a few small jobs still remains to be done.

If you ever have need of insurance… we strongly recommend MET LIFE!!!!!!! And if you ever…God Forbid… need to have a new home built and don’t know which direction to go…GO TO RILEY’S Manufactured Homes in URBANA, Il. They have many different models right there on their lot… you can walk through these models and get an idea of what you want. Then you can talk to them about your special needs and wants… we did… and look what we had to do and got done!!! .  Our salesman was TOBY who worked with us to redesign our modular home to fit on our lot and look good. Chuck, their project manager was on top of any issues we had or any questions we asked… CHECK THEM OUT AND YOU WILL SEE RILEY’S IS THE BEST!!!

To all: of Sidell,… of those people who helped… who donated… who prayed for us, WE THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

This is the end of a long journey and will start a new one with our Gifts & Collectible Galore stores.  Hope to see you in our new journey.

Posted by: evesmarketing | August 23, 2013

Help My House is on Fire cont: The porches get Started

Help My House is on Fire cont: The Porches get Started

Here it is… the week end… and no one has showed up to work on the modular home… it seems like an eternity since work was done on the modular, but this time it’s Mother Nature causing the delays! Remember the song… rain, rain go away…come back another day… Maybe if we all stared singing this song, she might get the hint and ease up a little! Last year at this time, we were in a drought… our water usage was restricted… Crops were burning up in the fields and fishing was almost impossible due to lake levels being so low! Now, this year it has rained at least 4 of the 7 days each week! There is so much water flooding everything! In fact there’s no place for the water to go… rivers, lakes, dams and fields are flooded… Why just the other day I saw fish with life jackets on… and… they were in a BOAT… Like I said…there’s a lot of rain water around! But the rains finally let up and on Monday, two trucks pulled up in front of the modular.  Ray, from Riley’s Home Inc. and his CREW OF ONE arrived to work on the porches. They quickly organized their equipment and started to work

Getting ready to start East Porch

Getting ready to start East Porch

YEP… a delay!  It seemed that the lumber they needed to make the wall frames had been off loaded 1st which meant it was on the bottom of the pile… so every piece of material needed to start couldn’t be reached until the off loaded lumber pile was reversed… believe me… you don’t want to hear what was said or thought about the people or person responsible for this goof up! Even though it was hot work, these two men got it done and started to work on the porches’ wall frame, but after just two hours of work… they had to stop due to rain. They waited and waited while it rained and rained. After waiting for over three hours for the rain to stop, the men called it a day and left in the rain…rain…and more rain!

Tuesday… the rain had finally stopped and the two man crew had arrived to start work on the porch. We did not have any rain this day, but Mother Nature once again threw us a carve ball! She turned up the heat… AND I mean HOT. The temperature went into the 90’s with the heat index even HIGHER! The two man crew was able to get the porch’s frame work finished! But, they had to change their shirts several times because they had to work in the bright sun all day… when they left, you could see that they were tired… VERY glad to get out of the sun!

Frame for porch finished

Frame for porch finished

Wednesday…Ray, from Riley’s Homes Inc. had to work without his helper today! Seems his helper had appointments which could not be rescheduled. Early in the morning, Ray worked on getting shingles put on the roof of the East porch before it got too hot!  As the temperature continued to get hotter and hotter, Ray kept right on working away in that hot blazing sun! We asked him if he wanted some ice cold water.  But Ray said no because he was taking cool –down- breaks when it got too hot. Eek Gads… by noon the heat index was up to 105 degrees…and there was POOR RAY, just working away. By day’s end Ray had all of our saved old house windows installed, along with the sides! It was now looking like a porch, not looking like some type of a Helios- landing- pad!

Frame work ready for the window

Frame work ready for the window


Ray finished windows and starting on siding one end

Ray finished windows and starting on siding one end

Thursday… Ray was called to another work site which needed his expertise. But his helper continued to work no our porch. Mother Nature continued to turn up the heat, so working out in the full was truly a brutal task! You would think working in the shade of our fully enclosed porch with all the windows wide open that it would be a little cooler… IT WAS NOT COOLER, in fact it was HOTTER!  The helper did all he could by himself… so the work was put on hold until next week when two men could  work together… besides there wasn’t enough siding to finish the porches. Remember… we flipped the modular and added a front porch with a dormer- like porch… also, the East side enclosed porch was just completed being erected, but not sided…And the back also needed siding!  Question… why wasn’t there enough siding ordered in the first place? OH WELL… the more we wait… the more expertise we become on WAITING… By now I should be a PHD on the subject of waiting!

Starting the South Porch and another HOT day

Starting the South Porch and another HOT day

A new week has been started and the plan is to have everything finished by Wednesday!   But this was to be another very HOT DAY.

Taking a few minutes to cool off under the only shade

Taking a few minutes to cool off under the only shade

Ray and his helper started working on the South porch… that is the front porch or main entryway to the modular… as soon as Ray and his helper put up the front porch’s roof along with it’s two pillars the modular really took on the appearance of a normal looking home…

Starting to look like a real entrance

Starting to look like a real entrance

MAN-O-MAN what a difference a porch, roof, and railing makes! Guess what?????… YEP… another delay!  It seems our A/C unit for the modular had to be back ordered A SECOND TIME!  Also, the railing end caps for the front porch has to be ordered… A QUESTION… why weren’t they included with the railings… We are beginning to feel that our modular home was packed up by the “Key-Stone-Kops”!   What made the packing job worse was the Three Stooges were the supervisors!  Oh well… life goes on.  Our daughter was so anxious to move in that she said she could live without the A/C until it came!  I guess living with mom and dad has its draw back… Ha… ha…ha!  AINT love grand!!!!

Getting ready to side the East Porch

Getting ready to side the East Porch

The men continued to work on both porches… doing what they could in spite of the materials that were on back order!  They put in the steps to both porches, so if we could go inside… we would now able to get inside the modular without having to pole vault our way onto the porches. The men had to stop for now because they had to wait on the back ordered materials!  Expecting another long wait… we were totally surprised when two women showed up on Friday and asked for the key to our modular so they could clean the inside!  After telephoning Chuck and getting the okay to let the gals inside, we received another surprise… Chuck was going to be here this afternoon to do the final walk through! The ladies went to work… they made the inside spotless and believe this or not completed their work in short few hours… so they packed up and were ready to leave, Chuck showed up.  Great timing!  We were ready to start the  final walk through.  As we went from room to room, Chuck wrote down everything and also took pictures of everything that needed attention.   Most items were just small corrections.  About half way through this walk, our daughter arrived from her job and was able to continue the final walk through with us also!  Finally, after the final walk through… The KEY… that beautiful key was handed over to us… at last the modular could be moved into! Our daughter was present to hear those words… You can move in now!

Key to the new HOME! What a Birthday Present!!

Key to the new HOME! What a Birthday Present!!

This was a special time for her because these words were the best birthday present she could ever have… her birthday was in two days… and she will be in her own home!!!  There were still some work to be done to the modular, but Riley’s was going to let her move in!!!

Next blog is the move in and a new surprise not one you want!

Posted by: evesmarketing | July 25, 2013

Help My House is on Fire cont: Getting Closer

Getting Closer to a Possible Move-In Date

Since we were given the o.k. to put in the septic tank, we called our excavator specialist, Chad Kistler, and set up our “dig” date.  So, Chad came back and started digging the septic tank. Now, please notice we said…STARTED!  Chad started and who do you think also started?  Yep, good old Mother Nature… It would pour down rain… just enough to affect outside work.  This weather went on for 7 days and for 4 of the seven days it poured hard in the morning, but not all day!  Finally Chad came back and started digging the hole for the septic tank.

hole for septic tank

Believe it or not, it was only wet and muddy down to about the 3-6 inches level of the soil, then BONE DRY!  Because of this fact, Chad was able to complete the digging work in short order.  So, the tank was brought in on a large truck and was placed in the hole, but Chad could not install the connections or back fill until the next day.  POOR Chad… He had to call us and explain that an emergency job had came up which needed his immediate attention, but he would work us in.  True to his word, Chad, came and started hooking up the connecting pieces to the septic tank!  NOW once again, please notice that we said started… Guess what?   Yep, Mother Nature decided she wanted to have a rain party.  She invited Mr. Wind and Miss Lightening who brought along her friend, Mr. Thunder!   The rain party started off with just a little sprinkle at first, then a real down pour with flashing lightening and loud thunder.  Poor Chad was getting drenched, but he stayed with it until he had completed the hook up work.  He would have to come back the next day to cover everything up and to grade the area so it would be level again. His job was done.  Once again we wait!

It seemed like an eternity, (actually it was just a week), until men came to take the wooden frames off of the poured porches.  I went out to talk with them and learned they were told to just remove the frame boards, then, they were to go to another job.  So, once again another wait… another week… more rains… I’m beginning to understand what Noah must have felt like in the Ark!  But Noah was on a vast sea of water… but we are on a vast sea of mud… our yard!   I am not going to release a dove because I’m afraid it will land in the our sea of mud and be sucked under!

windows on old porch

Today, Ray…who is in charge of the porches and any work to be done relating to those porches, came to see what the salvaged windows that we wanted installed on the porch facing the East looked like.  Also, he wanted to measure them.  Remember… we had taken these windows off of the old house’s front porch. These windows were spared from damage due to the fact … as the old house was burning, the wind was blowing from the South to the North and these windows were on the South end of the front porch, so they were not damaged at all!  We were able to remove them and save them for the new house. So, Ray re-measured them and waded through the mud to take measurements of the East side porch.  From these measurements the final plans for the in closed porch was developed.  These final plans included not only the size of the porch, but it also showed where to set the windows and door. Before we go any farther, we need to go back to February when we went to Riley’s Mfg. Homes and met with our sales person, Toby.  During our meeting, Toby made a comment like this… No matter how well you plan… there will always be a snag or two… but don’t worry we can work it out!  He was correct!  Remember how we described the need to “flip” the house… so it would be built to and meet today’s codes.  WELL… sadly not everyone was “flip” savvy.  The foundation crew was like mushrooms… always working in the dark!  Somehow, nobody told the crew about the flip, so they laid the foundations according to the standard lay out plans.  And as a result, the crawl space entrance way was placed right under the sliding glass patio doors!  I caught this after everyone had left for another job site nearby. crawl space door wrong side

Since we were going to Urbana anyway, we just dropped by and explained to Toby about the crawl space entrance way needed to be moved to the back end of the house before the modular house was delivered.  John also explained that the opening was too small.

Toby told us this mistake would be taken care of.  So we left for home which is approximately 40 miles from Urbana… as we pulled up in front of our house, we were shocked to see the crew had already blocked up the old crawl way entrance and were working on the back foundation wall… removing blocks and making the entrance way much larger!  Talk about fast results… Thank you Toby… and thank you guys for working so hard to correct this problem as fast as all of you did!  Now remember that Toby said… “there will always be a snag OR TWO”!  Well, when the plumber showed up and started to go to work, my husband noticed an error caused by flipping the modular.  When we flipped the modular, we did not notice that the outside water faucet got flipped to the front of the modular and not at the back where it was needed.

water faucet in front instead of back

I was so thankful John caught this error while the plumber was still here!  It was decided to leave the faucet in front and to install another one at the back of the modular!  Now you may ask yourself… why bring all this up at this time?  I am doing this to show everyone why it is SO IMPORTANT to do the following:

#1. Buy your home from an established, reputable and trustworthy dealer like Riley’s Mfg. Homes in Urbana, Ill.

#2. Be sure you develop a good rapport between your sales person and every one involved with the planning stages first, then be sure to extend this good will to everyone involved in the building stage!  Here is an example showing how this advice is so important.  When Ray (who is in charge of everything ),  came on site he noticed the outside electric plug was not going to be inside the in closed porch where it was supposed to be, instead it was going to be out side and very close to the porch’s wall.  Ray also discovered that the inside light was too close to the door wall to be of any use on lighting the porch and the soon to be stairs!  So Ray is making arrangements to correct these problems!  This is why it is so important to develop a good rapport with everyone involved with building and planning you new home!!  Ray also told us that he and the guys will be back next week to start the final work on the modular and the porches. Ray plans on it taking 3-4 days to complete the work!

We from Gifts and Collectibles Galore,  want to thank everyone for being with us as we took our trip down Memory Lane! From the catastrophic fire thru building and … Hopefully nearing the MOVE IN time… your support and prayers have meant more than mere words can express… Again, thank you!!

Next Blog:  We have Porches!

Posted by: evesmarketing | July 15, 2013

Help My House is on Fire – Where have all the men gone?

Help My House is on Fire cont. – Where have all the Men Gone?

Things seem to be slowing down now!  The modular has been placed on its foundations, however, there are still many things yet to be done, before our daughter and grandsons can move in.  The delays are due to Mother Nature… all these storms have resulted in: roofs being damaged, trees have fallen on homes, rains have stopped concrete pouring and the wetness has stopped almost all digging jobs!  Because of Mother Nature, our porches can’t be poured and this has caused us to put a hold on putting in the septic system!  I am calling this building phase… Our hurry-up and wait phase! 

ameren hooking up electricity

Ameren here to hook up electricity

The electrician came and hooked up the electricity inside the modular and he also set up the frame-work for our outside meter.  The next day, Ameren came to install the meter and hook up the pole lines to our meter… AND BEHOLD WE GOT LIGHTS!  

meter for electricity

Meter for Electricity


Early the next day, our excavator… Chad Kistler…and  plumber from Liggetts, Plumbing,  came to work on installing the water line and to hook up all the plumbing for the modular.  This work took several days to complete due to re-locating the water line which previously had been a straight shot from the water meter to the back of the old house.  However, due to the new building codes the water line cannot be within 25 feet of the septic system.   This meant… to meet code, the water line had to be re-located from the meter by the alley… to the west side of the modular…because the new septic tank  was going to be located on the east side of the modular!  With in 3-4 days, the water was all hooked up!  We now had water and electricity installed in the modular… BUT NO SEPTIC SYSTEM OR PORCHES… all we had was just the porch block foundations!  So, now we wait on the crew to… pour the porches, so the septic system can be installed… and then work inside the modular… because it has to be finished too.

Almost a full week had gone by, (it seemed a lot longer), when several men showed up and started working on the inside of the modular. They were laying carpeting, hanging lights, plastering the walls and painting the walls. It took them over three days to complete all the inside work!  We could hear the hammering, the whine of the saws and every once in a while we caught a grimace of the painter cleaning his brushes!  We stood at our window… watching the men come a go in and then come out… we could only stand and stare… wondering what our modular would be like!  Remember, we are not allowed in the house until the keys are turned over to us!  So… we are like children watching their Christmas presents being wrapped, and not being able to open them until Christmas!!  If we are invited in, we can go in, but we were asked not to get in the way of the workers… this is due to them being on a tight work schedule.  Finally, the inside work was completed… all the workers left to go to their next work site.   Again, several days went by without anyone showing up to work on our modular… and all we can do is hurry up and wait!  adding boards for concrte

Finally, the day came when three men showed up to work on the concrete forms. After a few hours, a truck came with the cement.


starting cement for east porch Once again, the team worked as if only person was doing the work!  As the concrete truck moved slowly forward pouring the concrete into the formed area, the men worked the concrete. They had to be sure no air pockets were formed while the concrete raced down the pouring trough, so two men used their trawls to shake the air out of the pouring.    almost finished with cementAs these men kept up with truck and moved from one  pour spot to another pour spot, two more men began to smooth out the concrete.  Finally, after what seemed to be a long time and very hard work, the team completed the work…AND WE NOW HAD OUR TWO PORCHES!!   

Cement work completed on East Porch

What we need now is to have the carpentry work done on the newly poured porches and some steps made, but, we were told we had to wait on the steps being built… to get into the modular now would mean we would have to use a pole vaulting pole combined with a long run… at our ages that ain’t gonna happen!  Now that the concrete had been poured, we got the o.k. to put in the septic tank. So once again we get to do our most favorite thing… WAIT.  I am beginning to feel like Tom Hanks and Shelly Long who stared in the movie, The Money Pit!!!

So concludes this blog as we now must wait for the cement to set.  Thank you for joining Gifts and Collectible Galore in our long journey from the day of our daughter’s home to the day when they will finally move in.  Hopefully, that day is growing closer.

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