Saturday, October 8, 2016

Day out with Friends

Saturday was just going to be a day to relax. My husband had been on the road the last 12 days with just one or two nights at home, and I was worn out from finishing book No. 3 and end of the fiscal year at work stuff. No plans except we were out of bacon so this breakfast was only a dream.  Then the phone rang.  It was my best friend, who lives with her longtime partner up in Northern Indiana. If you have read TBOB, they're referred to as "MC" and "Mr. B."

She had the magic words.


We're in!

The driving distance is about the same for us both so we just met there.  It's one of the bigger, if not the biggest flea markets, in Chicagoland, with up to 900 booths at the location we went to (there are three of them in the area). Abby got a long walk before we left.

I'm not a big fan of crowds, but the lure of  possible tools and such (a girl can't have too many 5/32 allen keys) AND spending the day with my husband and two of our best friends. It's like wandering around a virtual Craigslist, though I didn't find this.
Plus there was all sorts of clothing that was both serviceable (camo ladies tank tops for a buck each) and other items you'd not be caught dead in unless you were Lady Gaga or a hooker.

You are expected to haggle, it's no fun if you don't and having some Spanish skills would definitely help but everyone speaks cash and everyone was friendly, even those that weren't trying to sell something (at least some of the older gents were friendly to MC and I but we were probably the only blond and redhead in the place).  It's not fancy, you definitely want to have hand sanitizer handy when you're done sorting through things.  But it's fun,  for the most part, simply  to see Capitalism in action. Plus you get to see more interesting variations in human genetic code and behavior than you'll ever see at Wal Mart.
As we discussed "what's up with the creepy clowns all of a sudden" we spotted some creepy clown masks along with an assortment of motorcycle gear.

If you could sell it, you could probably find it here, food, dry goods, candy, religious icons, baby things, tons of socks and cowboy stuff.  But buyer beware as the nunchucks, throwing stars and ninja swords are "no refunds, no exchanges!" There's row after row of vendors displaying about any product you can think of from TV's and Computers ("gently owned") to Marie Osmond tapes, plumbing supplies and ab busters and thighmasters and all sorts of exercise gear that was used twice before the owner figured out that with the fried churros on every corner, they will never look like the model on the infomercial.

MC picked up some super cheap used 15 pound weights as like me, she's doing the personal trainer thing, wisely purchased just as we were leaving.
Speaking of creepy - Spongebob looks like he's been in the crack.
"Oh, I need the Rastafarian pants for the next "business casual day.:

"Don't you think it would clash with your shirt with the governor on it?"

There's something for everyone.  Sure there is some junk (seriously, selling a half can of paint?) but part of the fun it looking to see what little gem might be hidden and you definitely can get basic toiletries, teas, and spices for pennies on the dollar of what you would pay at the grocery. There's even a guy that will make you a new remote starter for your car for less than $30 in case you stepped on yours running away from the cops. You can even get a  haircut, but I passed as the last time I had a haircut from someone with limited English skills I ended up looking like a Romulan.
With school started back up, they had LOTS of school supplies, much cheaper than WalMart
And the makings of a glitter bomb (if you go your whole life without a friend glitter bombing your living room after alcohol consumption consider yourself lucky)

It is an interesting atmosphere.  There are people there you might not normally ever associate with, but on that day, in that place, everyone is friendly, everyone pays attention and everyone is polite. People here likely have full-time day jobs, though some may have a more "gypsy" lifestyle going from place to place selling their wares.  But they are happy for every sale, no matter how small, they will look you in the eye and give you an honest "thank you".
And on THIS shelf, something to offend at least one person on the internet.
Giant Ancient Egypt Chess Set

MC:  "Take the King and someone dies."
There were several knife vendors.   I got a really nifty new knife from my in-laws for my birthday so I passed, but it was fun to look, 
Outdoors, it wasn't as busy as the last time we were here which was in early summer in 2014 but it was a lot cooler which was great.
MC and I saw one van that had on it the printed name of a Funeral Home. "Huh?" In looking at the back, it was just used to transport some items for sale.  Walking around the next aisle, I spotted the wood chipper.

Me:  "No, honestly, cremation is fine"

In addition to a lot of used garden eqipment there were the plants, so colorful this time of year.

The inner six-year-old in me SO wanted this.
It wasn't too busy today, but not a bad turnout.

There was even furniture, some looking as if from another era.

Mr. B.  "I've heard they make upholstery out of its hair, but I've never seen a Mo."

My husband:  "Well they DID hunt the nauga into extinction in the 70's."

MC:  "No, they're just hiding".
The men headed right for the tables where all of the tools are.

Mr. B.: " I need to find some wobble extensions."

My husband:  "Impact rated?"

Mr. B.:  "They're all impact rated."

My husband:  "Yes, but some for more impacts than others."
While MC and I checked out the Yeezy 2016 collection.
Something you don't see at the summer events.  There were a lot of ethnic food supplies, with some great prices on dried beans for winter soups and stews and some specialty peppers you can't get at Jewel Osco.
I don't know if these would actually work, they were sort of cool
A table of old, used camera,

They do have a snack bar with the usual swap meat food, but we were thinking steakhouse.

A quick stop in the "Ladies Room O'Rama" for a good hand washing and fresh tactical lip gloss and we went for the steaks. Jenny's  Pub and Steakhouse in Chicago Ridge. The Yelp reviews for this restaurant are mixed but we've eaten there several times and have had really good meals and the best waitstaff. They even bring out this complimentary fresh bread with bruschetta to nosh on while you wait for your meal.

MC went for the slab of Prime Rib with twice baked potato and their homemade soup.
Mr.  B. had his usual order, the Italian beef, with a starter of the soup.
I went for the chicken Piccata with lemon caper sauce, so good, with veggies and baked potato
while my husband got this chicken ranchera dish that's a house specialty.
Then it was home with our purchases (I know, I bought the solar penguin) and some homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that MC packed for us.
But we also got a nice surprise, just as a "thanks for being our friends" we got a big package of Amish bacon from Beef Mart (no that is NOT a euphemism, look at the label).  Tomorrow we have Amish bacon!
And this really cool Dr. Who purse she got at the Renaissance  festival.  It's got the Tardis and a Weeping Angel on it.  Awesome.
Thanks, my friends - it was a really fun day and Abby was quite happy to have us home.


  1. OMD! My pawrents would have LOVED to go there! We don't have anything like that around here, just little things.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  2. Hari OM
    Fun, feasting and friends - doesn't get much better! YAM xx


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