“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

… it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

I’m sad that this 160 year old quote sums up 2020 about as well as any. A Tale of Two Cities isn’t my favorite Dickens book, but that man could write! I’m hopeful that 2020 will serve as a wakeup call for us humans so that we can start paying attention to what’s important—other humans, our planet—and quit being so caught up in having the most toys at the expense of the rest.

Kathy and I are doing two posts about the best and worst of 2020 as far as our blog goes. Any bad blog fodder that we saw was dwarfed by the general hideousness of last year. But, there were good things, too. I live more than a thousand miles from my family so keeping up with each other is hard, especially for the younger members who are working and have kids. Zoom, or any kind of live chat, has been great for being distantly present in each others lives. It doesn’t replace spending time in each other’s presence, but it’s better than just seeing each other once or twice a year. Another good thing about 2020 was the reconnection with the great outdoors for many. It was tempered here in Colorado and elsewhere in the west with the wildfires. But, when the air was breathable, people flocked outdoors, and that’s a good thing for us all. The last good thing about 2020 for me personally, is narwhals:

Christmas present from sisters

As far as my top ten, which is really five bad + five good, it was hard! We didn’t shop anywhere near as much, and our posts didn’t have as much picture content as in other years. I’m starting with the bad so that we can end on a good note with the hope that will be an omen for 2021!

Number 5:

Holy yarnballs, Santa!

This wasn’t even all that long ago, but cripes it was pretty bad! The more I look at it, the more it looks like an innocent green wreath suffering an outbreak of red pox, red carbuncles (NOT the red stones!), or something else nasty sounding. Medicine has some great old-fashioned words that aren’t used much any more; carbuncles or a pox never sounded like a pleasant occurrences even now when we don’t know what they are any more! Please do yourselves a favor and don’t look carbuncle up on the internet—you cannot unsee stuff!

Number 4:

It’s hard to make squirrels look scary

The poor squirrel on the left looks like it’s scared of the squirrel on the right, with good reason. You need to click on the picture to see what the fuss is about. Those are undead zombie squirrel eyes, and the fellow on the left is right to be wary. One bite of those sharp, nasty teeth, and he’ll be shuffling along slowly, looking for squirrel brains, too.

Number 3:

Our worst estate sale nightmare

We think of ourselves as being generally positive and hopeful people. It’s probably what keeps us digging through mounds of junk looking for a few good things. We don’t even need diamonds; if we find something cool, amusing, or saleable then we’re happy. In these myriad tubs, we knew that there wasn’t anything worth our time or effort. And, that’s just plain depressing! It’s right up there with everything being priced like it’s in a Sotheby’s auction.

Number 2:

Did you drink a six-pack of Fat Tire before crocheting this?

I’ve read somewhere that alcohol consumption is up all over the world. This hat is all the proof anyone needs to see that it’s true—we’re drinking just a bit too much! The hat is ugly, so it really didn’t matter what direction the “medallions” were facing, but, uff da, the beer can pieces did not help!

Number 1:

Send in the clowns

I’ve always hated clowns as far back as I can remember. They’re creepy and scary. I used to cry when at events that featured clowns and would never let them touch me. I understand that most clowns are trying to be funny and make us laugh. It doesn’t work for me. I’m not sure that Kathy disliked them as much as me, but she sure isn’t a fan now. It doesn’t help that the clowns we run into at thrift stores are the worst of the worst—homeless clowns! If their original owners don’t want them, who would? The good thing about this world is that one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. It gives even a clown hope!

Yay, onto the good!

Number 5:

I’m a little Art Deco teapot

The same sale that gave us a worst (backyard of hopelessness) gave us this wonderful McCoy teapot! It lives with my sister and that makes me happy!

Number 4:

I’m a special poodle

I’m pretty much onboard with poodle anything, as any long time reader knows. As a vegetarian, I’m not crazy about the mink part but this little poodle has the sweetest face and I’m pretty sure she didn’t ask to be made of fur. I’m okay with giving her a home where she’ll be cherished.

Number 3:

Cool story

I got these lapel pins at the late, lamented Who Gives a Scrap going out of business sale. I thought they were pretty cool and am planning on selling them. When I threw them into a post to make it long enough, something really interesting happened. A reader shared a story about these pins:

I grew up in Arvada which was like 1 of only 2 school districts in the US that offered Russian as a language choice in junior high and high school. I took Russian all those years (can’t remember hardly any of it) and took a trip to the then Soviet Union in 1977 w/ other school kids. These were lean years for the people living in the USSR and we were told ahead of time that we could bring chewing gum to trade w/ the kids there. Indeed, any time we left the hotel we were accosted by kids who would trade buttons like the ones in your post for gum. I still have all my buttons that I *collected* from that trip, and the kids got gum which I assume they used to trade for other desirable things from other kids. Seeing those buttons makes me wonder if someone else from my trip might have settled in Fort Collins and finally let go of them (I know, unlikely, but still)

I love that we get info like this more often than you might think about the mysteries we run into while shopping. So, the lapel pins are cool, but our readers are the coolest!

Number 2:

Beautiful Asian fabric

This obi that Kathy and I shared was found at an estate sale at the beginning of the year. Total no-brainer: Asian, gorgeous fabric, sharing with your friend! I get to see it everyday and I still love it.

Number 1:

Still the one

No matter how many collections I start up, dolls and specifically Barbie, is still the clear favorite. When I found this box at Who Gives a Scrap for a couple of bucks, well, that made my day!

How did I do? Do you remember better or worse things? Stick around for next week because Kathy will probably have them on her list!

Happy New Year, everyone! I will be glad to look at 2020 in the rearview mirror. Let’s all try to make 2021 the best of times.

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2 Responses to “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

  1. Stephanie Gazell says:

    Happy New Year, gals! I love the Feeling Stabby mug – what a perfect gift! I’ll be seeing Narwhals everywhere now. :>) And I’m sorry to say that I LOVE the squirrel picture and wish I’d run across it! LOL! Hey, it’s the beginning of the year and I rec’d my stimulus. I’d like to make a donation to the board before the year gets out of control. Is that possible at this time? Please let me know. Much love to both you girls, and THANK YOU for the smiles, laughter and memories when we need them most. ❤ ❤ ❤

    • kathy & deb says:

      Oh Steph you’re the best! It’s okay that you liked the squirrel picture–I think my picture did it some favors, but it’s quite possible that I’m wrong about it, too! My sisters will be glad that you like the stabby mug; they were a little afraid that I would be insulted, which made me laugh. If you would like to contribute, here’s a link to my PayPal account as I’m the one who handles finances https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/TheSecondHandRoses?locale.x=en_US. We sure appreciate your support and of course we love you right back! Hugs and here’s hoping 2021 makes us forget all about 2020! Deb and Kathy

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