Table For Sale

This post is unusual for people who read RiverCliff Cottage regularly. However, because I have a Google presence when someone searches on a word, I’m including it on my blog since anyone searching for an antique ice cream table may come across it. When I’ve searched recently, I found that two have been sold at higher-end auction houses in the past couple of years.

Mike and I maintained two homes for a number of years, so we have excess items, and now that we’re using the shop for Adventure Mendota, we need to get rid of some things. We are selling this antique ice cream table manufactured by Sani Products of Chicago at the early turn of the century. I believe around 1916.


We used this for a number of years — in Northern Virginia and New Jersey. I loved it because of the uniqueness and because the floors were never scratched by chairs sliding around! We used it in a tiny kitchen at one time and then as a game table in a den at another time.


The table was distributed by Belknap Hardware Company in Louisville, Kentucky. This specific table came from the employee lunch room at Belknap. It is very rare. The base of the table is fine-grained cast iron heavily coated with porcelain enamel.


I purchased it in the late 1990’s at the Virginia Highlands Festival by an older man representing an antique store called “Grandma’s Attic” or “Granny’s Attic” in the East Tennessee area.

I have a copy of the note that was with the table when I purchased it. If you find it difficult to read, it tells that it was $78.00 new, compared to the standard ice cream table which was $16.75.

Table Receipt When Purchased Small

The cultured marble top is not original to this table, but can be easily replaced.

This table was purchased for $2450, and that is the current asking price, and the buyer will be responsible for shipping/delivery. If you are interested in this table, please contact via email.


I’ve Lost a Little Weight

I’ve lost a little weight and I thought I’d post a picture.    So proud of myself especially since I ate a whole cabbage today.   It had just a little olive oil, water and chicken bouillon, and it was a small cabbage. Before you pass judgement, cooked cabbage really shrinks.

My hair was messy in this picture but oh well.  I’ll post another one when I lose five more pounds.  I hope it’s soon.

Me Lost Weight


Before and After!!


Here’s the before….
And here’s the after…

Our granddaughters are quite a decorating team!!


Mendota Daily June 26

We got up this morning and the first thing out of Mike’s mouth was “Wanna go to Lowe’s?”     Who was he kidding?   Of course, I wanted to go to Lowe’s.  I love Lowe’s.  Lowe’s makes me frisky!     A few days ago we  had some very nice young men help us with trimming our shrubbery around the house.  It was a jungle–out of control.  They did a great job, but in the process, they cut through three of those long, thick orange extension cords!  Instead of buying new ones, Mike wanted to go to Lowe’s and  buy only the new ends so that our existing cords could be repaired (although not quiet as long).   We headed to the Bristol, Virginia Lowe’s store, made our purchase and returned home.  Round trip 34 miles and it wasn’t even 9 am.    When we got home, he discovered he’d bought three males when he needed three females.   Are you getting this?   If we proceeded with the repair using the males we purchased, we would have three extension cords with the prongy plugy things on each end.   We had to go back to town.

So on this trip we headed to Gate City, Virginia to a local hardware store called Quillens and got some females.  Round trip another 34 miles and not 12:00 pm.  I’m not sure where I’m headed with this except to say that now our extension cords are now repaired and all sexually appropriate for conducting electricity.  Shocking.

It rained very hard on Friday and it was just the boost our garden needed.  Here’s a view of the garden from the guest house deck:

The corn is just doing great.  I have three rows of green beans that will be knocking at the door in the next 10 days.  Cucumbers doing nicely.  Sunflowers and zinnias on deck.  Zuchini and squash getting out of control.   Gourds looking happy.   Potatoes are pleasing.   Please do not notice the tomato plants that were not staked.  Embarassing.

So as I was looking at the garden, I glanced to the left and saw every gardener’s nightmare.   He (I hope it’s a bachelor and not some young mama) is just to the left of the fence post in the center.

I spoke with Luckie about her responsibilities to our family.

Luckie, have you completely retired?  We are glad about the skunks you’re no longer chasing, and we understand the miss on the possum that was in the rhododendrum–the hissing was scary and its teeth did look sharp.  However, is there any way you can look into this Groundhog Situation?

Where is that darn groundhog?

No success on this visit to the groundhog’s hole, but it’s on notice.  There is a sheriff in town, and her name is Luckie.  

Update: I actually wrote this post on Saturday, and it’s now Tuesday. While Luckie did not kill the groundhog, she certainly reminded it that she was present. We have not seen it since, so I’m hopeful that it moved deeper into the woods.


You Will Never Get Me Now!

Look at this…she’s up on the pergola. She’s a fiesty looking little cat isn’t she?

Mike: “Chrissie! Put that bird down! You are a bad kitty!”
Chrissie: “Neen ner Neen ner Boo Boo…I’m up on the pergola…try and get me now!


Sunday Around Our House

Our dogs like to go to church.  As we get dressed to go on Sunday morning, they start following us around.  Guess what?  We take them.

Here’s my husband,  Michael, and Luckie.   They have been pretty much inseparable since Luckie arrived at our house 11 years ago.    Mike is waving his arm around trying to get Luckie to look in the camera.

This next picture is a little blurry, but I just had to show it to you.  While at church, Luckie sings.  Really.

Have a great Sunday!   We are resting today.


Walking Down Swinging Bridge Road

I live on Swinging Bridge Road.  It is a great place to walk.  It’s flat and there is very little traffic.

Walking from my driveway, I turn right following the direction of the North Fork’s water flow. As I look to my left, here’s what I see:

As I near the edge of our property line and look right, I see my husband’s shop called The Luckie Dog Woodshop. It’s a nice little shop. We have a sign in front of the shop that reads “custom tables.” In 10+ years we have never had anyone call about having a custom table made. Did I mention there was very little traffic? I’m not sure what we were thinking when we put this sign up.  LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!

This is a photo of one of the window boxes in the front of the woodshop.

I stop in the woodshop since my brother-in-law Gerald is inside.   Hi Gerald!  He is standing in front of the hope chest he has made for a neighbor’s little girl who is turning 13.  It is made from a sassafras tree from right up the road that a neighbor gave my husband.

I leave and walk a bit further down Swinging Bridge Road.  Looks like this:

Told you it was a nice flat walk.

In this photograph, I’m approaching my neighbor’s barn he is building.  As best I can tell, it’s being recycled from another building.   Works for me.


I like this little crossroads where the dirt road (Anderson Drive) meets Swinging Bridge Road.  There are usually goats here, but they are elsewhere today.  The goats get out a lot!   It’s one of the charming things about Swinging Bridge Road.  We have to weave in and out of the goats when passing this area.  No one really minds.

Walking a bit further, I see a….boat!   It’s parked in the pasture.  Looks like someone just drove it up on the hill and got out.    Who knows?  We might have a flood and need this boat.  This river does flood.  I’ve seen goats standing on the boat.

The boat is no concern to me.  Whatever floats your boat.  

Walking a little bit further, it gets shady. Reminds me of walking through a salad bowl.

While these pictures make the walk look peaceful, it’s not.  There is a hum of insects and lots of wild bird sounds.  There are cows mooing in the distance and goats bleating.   Sometimes, but not today, I hear snorting sounds– probably a buck as we have lots of deer. Once in a while, I imagine it to be a mama bear and her cubs.  I break out and run if no one is looking. 

One day I hope to take a picture of one of the area’s eagles.  They are there.  Others have photographed them but not me.   The river is supporting a large bird population which speaks to the health of the river.

I’m nearing Lisa’s house. .Here’s her backyard:

Nice, isn’t it?  She has a great back porch to enjoy this view.  I’ll take you there sometime.

This is Lisa’s barnyard.  She has two rescue horses, two fainting goats, and she DID have 29 chickens including heritage breeds UNTIL a raccoon killed 13 this week.    Once she gets this straightened out and her hens are busy laying their pretty green and blue eggs, we’ll visit her.

Walking a bit further, I see Margie’s chicken enclosure.  It’s built of recycled materials.

Just like some people live in nicer houses than other people, so it goes with chickens.  Her very cool chicken coop reflects her creativity and how she values her chickens.   Margie’s chickens are living in what used to be her organic garden. It’s her revenge for the bugs that plagued this garden and ate all of the stuff she meant to sell at the Farmer’s Market.   Chickens love bugs.  They are so yummy clucked the hen as she wiped bug juice off her chin.

Oh…look who is here!   It’s my sister and sister-in-law. Hi Nancy and Jackie!

Next time I’ll walk up river and take you along.


Plans for Today

At some point, I’ll be sharing the contents of this blog with others instead of writing to myself and my immediate family and a good friend. I didn’t have a picture for this post so I thought a peek at one of the Swinging Bridges might be interesting when the time comes that someone reads it who doesn’t really know me.  And…yes, Virginia, I have ridden a bicycle across that bridge!  I was not always as cautious about everything!

Today is going to be a busy day. I have the usual housework, etc., but it’s also the day that we’re putting the foyer back together. I thought this was a two-day job, but we started Wednesday a week ago and we’re finished today. Mike, aka, Retired Man, did the painting. I started and did so poorly that he took over.  What a strategy

I also am going to do a post later this evening detailing my morning walk on Swinging Bridge Road. I wrote to my cousin, Betsy (also known as Betty Lou) in Cincinnati, and she loved getting the newsy snail mail letter about all our happenings (yes, you heard that right) in Mendota. So, I decided to take her for a “virtual” walk on Swinging Bridge. She is learning to use a computer and I hope she enjoys it. This is a “SHOUT OUT” to Betty Lou when she reads this !!

My weight loss is going fairly well. I’ve been calling this my 90 days of summer/30 pounds of weight loss experience. I do not think I’ll lose 30 pounds in 90 days, but I do think I’ll lose 30 pounds.  I’m losing about 2 pounds per week.   I stopped working on Thursday, May 31, but I really did not start trying to establish healthy eating and exercise habits until June 1. I did not start Weight Watchers until Monday, June 11. I realize I could possibly have done this while working, but I knew for true success, I had to focus. The risk of continuing on with a so/so attitude on weight loss while focusing on other things would move tired feet, swollen ankles, back aches — all symptoms of being too heavy — into chronic ailments. I don’t want that. I want to live a long time and enjoy the good life I have.

I’m using this blog as a part of my accountability — a sort of “if I say it…I will do it.”    This is true in terms of project work and activities around my house and health-related matters.


Have a Seat!

This chair came from the dump Waste Disposal Station about 8 years ago.   The seat is long gone– it’s been replaced with chicken wire and a moss lining.  I’ve got a few of these chairs, and they do well with succulents.  I have someone staying in the guesthouse tonight, and I drug the chair over to soften the entry way.

I’ve got the “simplify” sign hanging on the chair…trying to make our guests think that we really don’t have phone or internet service over there because we planned it that way.

Right.   Exactly.


Gracie’s Ramp

Our “dear girl” Gracie Barker Beaule is a 12-year old Golden Retriever.   She’s lost a lot of her long hair on her tail, but she’s still pretty.  I love her little white face.

She has arthritis in her back legs and hips. She can barely bend her back legs and going up and down the two steps that are required for her to enter or leave our house has become extremely difficult. She managed an awkward “hop” going down, but I worried that she would break her leg or her hip.

However, my husband and brother in law built her a ramp. Check this out:


She goes up and down with ease. I’m convinced this has added months to her life (and such a precious life it is).

Of course, there’s always something.  In this case, it’s Sam the Sinister Cat who still worries her.  He gets under the ramp, and like the little troll he is, he jumps out and scares Gracie.

He has a bad reputation for doing these things.  Look at this…

MOST WANTED!! Sam The Sinister Cat

He’s on the Mendota, Virginia Most Wanted List.

Sam on Ramp

Look at him…sunning himself.  He doesn’t feel guilty for terrorizing Gracie.  He does not care.    I’m sure he will keep scaring her until he gets caught.

Sam The Sinister Cat – Known Disguise

He’s very sly.   If he feels that folks around Mendota are suspicious, he pulls out one of his many disguises.  He sometimes wears a mustache.

If you have seen Sam the Sinister Cat, please leave a comment on this blog.



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