Sunday, July 4, 2010

Almost Heaven

Uncle and Auntie Atom took advantage of a long weekend to use a gift from my mother-in-law -- two nights at a Japanese style bed and breakfast in the country outside of Winchester, VA.  The folks who run Pembroke Springs are very nice, they have their guest house built on a hillside overlooking acres of land, with wildlife aplenty.  They offer traditional Japanese baths and for breakfast you can either roll American or Japanese.  This is our second visit, and it appears to be a popular destination, particularly for people who may be here in the U.S. and missing some of their Japanese culture.

Saturday we had the Japanese breakfast, including salmon, rice, broccoli and tomatoes, Miso soup with seaweed and tofu, and on the side, pressed seaweed called Nori. You also have the option of a fresh egg (straight from the chicken or duck!) to mix with the rice and some soy.  We finished off with some fresh cherries.  Very nice.

Then we headed out to drive around and explore the countryside.  Pembroke Springs is only about a 10-minute drive into West Virginia, and since it was a Saturday, there were yard sales aplenty.  Some are what we consider perpetual yard sales - my favorites are the ones where the proprietors leave everything sitting outside for months at a time, sometimes they cover the stuff with tarps, other times they don't.  Some other yards sales only rate a "drive by" - they're the ones with lots of clothes, used crutches, old shoes, y'know, stuff that does not appeal to the atomic'ly inclined.  We also hit a few antique shops.

Uncle Atom bought a few small things but he also employed restraint (one of the least used of his superpowers).  Read on and guess which things required the most restraint.

Elvis bust, Strasburg, VA Antiques Emporium (we stopped there on our drive to Winchester on Friday) - $47.50 was pretty over the top to me, so he'll bide his time waiting for someone else to adopt.  He looks like he could use a deep fried peanut butter  and banana sandwich, doesn't he?

Wrought iron hoop chair at another Strasburg, VA antique store - claimed to be original vinyl - $375.  We have the identical chair that I had reupholstered.  Crazy price.

Pair of plastic 70s chairs in the same antique store - $600.  Taken with the phone camera, sorry for the crappy quality.

Dinette found in Wardensville antique shop - very nice, priced around $375

Pair of beside lamps, shades look original - $30 

Another pair of bedside lamps, $25.  Shades look original on these too.

Very nice Flintstones lunchbox and thermos from early 1960s - $175.  Seller might find someone someday to pay that price.  Maybe.

Yet another Thermaster cooler, the nicest original one I've run across - $40

Pair of vintage hairdryer chairs, Middle 'O Nowhere, WV - $60 each. Molded plywood, great vinyl, and check out the cast aluminum front legs!  There were no rear legs as the chair is one unit with the blower motor and hair dryer.

After all that, the pics of my small haul seem pretty blah, but here's the take:

Small Elvis bust, about 6 inches tall - $5.  This guy's the right size to fit on the shelf of a shadow box.  Battery is there to give you an idea of the size - pretty clever, huh? ;-)

You know, I'm really not a huge Elvis fan, but I also ran across this framed photo with a mass production style Elvis autograph - $10, probably my biggest splurge of the weekend.  He's going in the same room with the metal framed fat Elvis.

Rusty planter stand $3.  I like the shape, it will clean up pretty easily and we can use it somewhere around the house.

Not atomic, but I also picked up this cast iron muffin mold.  If I ever get around to trying my hand at making cast aluminum objects, these are good for when you melt down aluminum scrap.  If you have leftover molten metal after casting an object, you pour it into the mold and when it cools you have a bunch of same-sized hockey puck ingots for easier storage.

So, what do I wish I had bought?  Well, SWMBO said I could not under any circumstances buy those hair dryer chairs, but man, someone needs to save those.  (Has anyone ever seen an atomic hairdryer chair in an arcade before?  Just asking....)

I guess I wish I had bought the Thermaster cooler, just because it's great, but again, laying out $40 when you already have two of something is kind of obsessive.  I should know.  The lamps were pretty reasonably priced, but the color would not work in any of the bedrooms in our house.

That's all for now.  Hope everyone is enjoying their 4th of July weekend!


  1. Great POST!!
    I loved the dinette, lamps and the patio chairs.. the hair dryers were pretty cool too.

  2. I love those lamps. A Japanese b&b sounds so neat, what a great gift and incredible breakfast. Happy weekend :)

  3. Great pics, uncle Atom! And good call on the hairdryer chairs. I read somewhere that there's a whole hair salon in New York with vintage hairdryers like that. Mad!

  4. Good restraint! I wish I had employed some this weekend...I got another arcade game and now I'm broke till payday! Ouch. But no buyers remorse, I love it. I like the hair dryers too, my BF talked me outta one at the thrift shop a while back, only $15..not as heavy duty as those though. I like the mini-Elvis you found and the plant stand. I think you did really well! I bet the relaxation factor at the B&B helped! Have a good one!