Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Love Making the Top 10

The most recent (August 2008) issue of Victorian Homes Magazine includes an article titled, "Victorian Homes' Top 10 Tea Rooms: Discover the best places to find the perfect brew-and more." It encompasses the entire nation, and we made the list! It's an incredible honor. Here is what they had to say:

Patricia Knouse and her daughter, Nicole Freshwater, joined forces to open AntiquiTea two years ago. It's a partnership that has proven successful, with jewelry designer Nicole running the dining room and gift shop, and Patricia in the kitchen. "We just love making our guests happy here," Knouse says. "I always invited friends for tea and love anything to do with it - the fine china, serving styles. I just love the daintiness, the elegance of the tea service." AntiquiTea is situated in an early-1900s house. "The lady who grew up here is one of our customers," Knouse says. But the shop has proven so successful that they will soon be moving to an old farmhouse in the town of West View, just a mile away.

It's wonderful that this article came out during our down-time. Hopefully, it will serve as a reminder that we will be back! And we can't wait!

Friday, June 27, 2008

I Love Huge Messes

I spent all day Monday rooting through more junk at Nunny's. I'm trying to get the attic totally cleaned out because that is where Evan wants to start remodeling. It's not too bad. There wasn't much up there. The tough thing is going to be packing up all of my Dad's old Lionel trains. He has a huge built-in table up there with a whole crazy setup. Those things are worth a fortune! *cha-ching* There's my new bathroom. (Sike?)

Yesterday, I delivered pizzas! Good times. My friend, Rachel, actually bought the Vocelli's Pizza on route 60 that we both worked at in high school. It was Pizza Outlet then. Yep, she's been there for 11 years. While I'm not getting paid by the tearoom all Summer, we both thought it would work out for me to cover a couple of lunches each week.

What I want to know about Vocelli's is who the hell Vocelli is? I know for a fact that the company is still owned and operated by the Turkish family who started it - the Ablaks. There isn't a thing Italian about the company and there never was. I find the new name hilarious.

In recent news, I am filthy. I'm covered in soot from the tearoom. My Dad just keeps gutting shit! I headed out today to sort through some things and organize the randomness. Most things are covered in a fine layer of black dust thanks to his recent round of demolition. I'm a dirty mess. First I intend to savor this beer I'm drinking for as long as I can before showering. I earned it.

Over lunch, I offered my services (however limited) to what he is doing. Surprisingly, he started rattling off horrible, time consuming jobs that I could do to save him the hassle. I'm glad to help any way I can so it looks like I will be training for the shop-vac Olympic team next week.

Oh, and I made something this week. Geekery is collectible, you see, and so is jewelry...

The Answer

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Love This Story

Here's a little story that I will be adding to every eBay CD auction soon to be posted under my account...

The True Story Behind the CDs:

My brother, Mikey, is Autistic with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He has a massive collection of CDs, which he handles with extreme care.

One day, he was sorting and stacking many of them on our parents’ kitchen table. Our Dad wanted to have a quick bite to eat at the table, and debate arose over whether or not he could move any of the CDs to make a little room. Mikey was, of course, concerned that something might “get onto or damage” his CDs. This is not a joke. That is how obsessively he cares for his things. When my brother left the CDs unattended for a while, my Dad proceeded to eat at the table, taking great care not to disrupt the carefully arranged piles of music. Dad was simply thinking that Mikey would never know, and that what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him – or his CDs.

Unfortunately, Dad got busted! Mikey wouldn’t use them after that. There were over 100 CDs on the table that day. Some weren’t even opened and most had barely been used. It seems a shame to let them go to waste, so I am selling them for him. Hopefully, I can raise enough money for him to replace some.

What’s the point of this little story? Simply to explain how I can guarantee that any CDs I sell here on eBay are in near perfect condition.


That's a true story! Cross my heart and hope to die. I doubt anyone on eBay will believe it, though. At any rate, I can't think of a better reason for someone to trust the condidtion of an item than it having been owned by someone with hardcore OCD.

I'm selling them to help out. I hate posting auctions for other people, but for I'll make an exception for my bro.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Hate Annoying Pains

I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with me. Yesterday, my stomach started to cramp. Constant, annoying, nagging, pissing-me-the-hell-off pain. Except after I eat anything. Then I feel glorious. This has happened to me before. It was a while ago, but not long enough ago. That time, I almost took myself to the hospital. After about 3 days, it passed. Is it food poisoning of some kind? The world may never know, because unless I'm dying, you can bet I am not going to wait hours at the ER. Maybe, just maybe, I will go to the doctor tomorrow. Maybe not. I don't even know who the hell to go to. It's been so long.

To make matters worse, one of my blasted wisdom teeth is making a valiant effort to go where it is not wanted. Hehe, actually I want them to get to where they should be, but the other teeth are saying, "Sorry fellas, no more room. It's crowded enough in here already." I'm stuck with them kinda half in and trying to muscle themselves all the way into the party. I had an infection about a month or so ago. I half expect that this is another one. Perhaps I will be lucky and it will die down like it usually does. Everytime this happens, it hurts like HELL. I can't shut my mouth all the way, or open it up very far. So annoying. I have to make it until September 4th before my insurance will cover the extractions. Stupid 4 month waiting period that I didn't know about. Yeah, I'm an idiot and didn't add dental insurance to our plan until it got to the unbearable point. When the waiting is over, I will be waiting outside of the surgeon's office wearing a party hat and blowing on noisemakers. I'm thinking of wearing this T-shirt to the surgery:

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Love Gina

I have a life-long friend named Gina. Our Moms have been best friends since they were 16. So there was no hope of us not at least knowing each other. Knowing doesn't always mean loving, but I love me some Gina. Today brought me one more reason. As I have just become aware, she likes The Freshwater Files. Who wouldn't, right? Then again, she has always had good taste.

As I was saying, Gina read my post about finding the Sci-Fi Stories mag from 1957. While visiting her sister in LA, she came across some postcards that are old sci-fi book covers and bought me 2. Then, instead of just waiting to see me, she surprised me by mailing them in a card! The card had handwriting in it! I almost forgot how to read handwriting-even nice handwriting like hers! What I read was a helluva nice note and I really 'effing appreciate it. I don't think there are too many things I enjoy more than sci-fi and presents. When the two forces are joined, it's bliss.

Thanks for making my day, girl!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Love Exercise

Several months ago, out of the blue, I started to work out regularly. My Knouse metabolism is incredible beyond reason or justice. People hate me for it. So, I wasn't interested in losing weight, just getting into better shape and managing my moods. I'm a hormonal bitch a lot of the time. Working out has definitely taken the edge off of my wicked attitude problem. My reason for writing about this? Just that I just had an unplanned free half-hour while Ivy napped. I did the right thing and did some hardcore aerobics workout with some chicks that have more energy than people have a right to. I'm proud of myself and I feel like bragging.

Oooooh! My Mom just stopped by with presents for me and Ivy. She gave me a ceramic skull cup thing. I don't really understand what it is, but I like it. Maybe a picture will make its way on here if I have a second. It looks good next to the skull shot glass on the TV. Ivy got some puzzles. Rock!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I Love Moving

I got another notch in the ole' moving belt today. This was a legitimate move, too. I'm used to moving people from Crafton to Crafton, or from Crafton to Crafton Heights. Today we moved Robb and Toni from Morningside to Greentree. One may wonder why they lived in Morningside at all. Blame their being in grad school at Pitt and not being from Pittsburgh at all. I forgive them and so should you.

The move was easy peasy. It would especially seem so to two seasoned veterans like myself and Jen. Jen moved like 10 times in 2 years I think! Haha, no not really, but it seemed like it. And her most recent move was up a mountain of steps. She literally called all of her male friends for permission to move there. Classic.

Punk-ass Evan got to skip the move because he has a hernia. Waaaaaah! He spent his day grilling food at a birthday party for one of his deck hockey buds. What a jerk. I want a hernia. Eh, but I can't really complain about a move where we started drinking well before noon and were completely done with everything by 3. I was drunk, hungover, and sleeping it off all before the evening and now I'm feeling fine.

Evan, Ivy, and Jen should be here any time for round 2! Yeah, Ivy can really put them away. I'm just being silly and bored right now. I suppose I should go glue some earrings together that I have been working on. Yes, yes, that sounds productive.


Friday, June 20, 2008

I Hate Housework

I did the dishes! There! Now can I go out and play?

I hate doing dishes, doing laundry, food-shopping, cooking, cleaning, and every other thankless, fruitless, wifely/motherly duty that I feel a responsibility to perform! I want to go to the pool with my books. I want to go see some movies. I want to make jewelry. I want to drink beer-and often do while muddling through the aforementioned shit jobs.

I always feel like other women do these things happily and with pride. It's bullshit, but they are faking it so well! How do they do it? How do they make me feel like I should WANT to clean and take care of people? I'm always wishing to find some joy in it, but I never do.

Truth is, I have far too many colorful interests and I am never satisfied with my accomplishments in any of them. I'm always looking to the next project and how I can improve upon the current. Whether it be something for the tearoom, a jewelry idea, or just decorating a room in my house, I constantly strive to outdo myself. It's borderline OCD. I admit it.

This about sums it up...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Love Father's Day

In honor of Father's Day, here are some favorite pictures I found of my Dad and his Dad.

My Grandfather, Lou Knouse.

ON THE BACK: "Deadwood, S. Dakota, Burglar Alarm, More cans under the porch. Picture taken 6:30 AM, July 1957."

That's an impressively sized beer, Lou!

My Dad; ON THE BACK: "Tony, 1948, Louis, we call him Tony."

My favorite picture of my Dad (and My Aunt Eileen), because he looks just like my Ivy. Everyone always says she looks the most like him. :)

My Dad on the go-cart with his buddies. This is the back of the house we will someday be living in. Very cool.

Dad and Penny (I think?)

1957, Carson City, Nevada.

July 4th, 1969, Atlantic Beach, NY. I really love this one!

There are still plenty more photos up there to go through. I can't wait to see what else I find.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Love When Ideas Become Reality

I hit the bench yesterday. I had been dying to execute these ideas. It's great to see them in the real world, rather than only in my mind.

The first one is called TWISTED. It's a braided rope of silk ribbon, Rhodonite (with quartz inclusions), Swarovski Crystal, and glass.

The second is a themed piece about Eve. It's a reminder to be whatever kind of woman you WANT to be, and damn the consequences! If that means destroying mankind's perfect existence, so be it.

The snake is badass...

The clasp was made from a button I liked.

The apple core is a handmade polymer clay bead that I found on Etsy.

I'm very pleased with how both turned out. They're for sale on Etsy:

Freshwater Designs

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Love Autism

My brother, Mike, is Autistic. He's 26 now. I came across some old drawings that he and I did as children. Yes, Nunny kept them all of these years, creating another very cool house cleaning find.

I'll call this "Abstract Thinking Vs. Autism"

Autism = "A Diagram of Nunny's Name"

What a useful tool.

Abstract Thinking = "The World's Greatest Hair on the World's Ugliest People"


Autism = "Point Plotting"

Abstract Thinking = "A Cat"

Autism = "WTF?"

OK, one more from me...

Abstract Thinking = "Fake"

What in the name of hell was I thinking? I love this!

And one more from Mikey...something a little wild...

Autism = "Abstract With Timestamp"

What a trip, man!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Love Treasure Hunting

Those who know me will know what I mean when I say I'm cleaning out Nunny's house. For those who don't, Nunny was my grandmother. She passed away several months ago at the age of 93.

Someone now has to redisperse all of her belongings (i.e., trash, give, or keep). The task can be pretty interesting when the person was so old and lived in the same house for most of their life. This incredible responsibility has fallen to me for several reasons, one of which is that I love to root through old junk. I'm a nostalgic person and I loved my Nunny.

This first Freshwater File is going to be about 2 things that I am putting into my "keep" category. And maybe this one should be called a "Knouse File," out of respect.

The first is this...


Dear Lord, why didn't my father (I assume this belonged to him) have a whole box of these? January 1957, 35 cents! I almost died when I found it. There are stories by Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick. I get overly excited just thinking about reading it. Hell, I get pretty excited just looking at that cover art.

On the back cover, an advertisement for The Science-Fiction Book Club pokes fun at a geek-tastic money making scheme..."It may sound fantastic. It may be illegal. But the former chairman of the Hayden Planetarium in New York is actually selling deeds to one-acre plots on the Moon for $1 each! And more than 4,500 people have bought such plots!" Ah, I love me some nerd humor.

My second submission is this awesome little leaflet...

How to Develop a More Successful Personality: For a Winning & Magnetic "You"! At the bottom: Completely Illustrated With: Photographs, Diagrams, Charts. Oh, I am loving this. I am always trying so hard to be a winning and magnetic "me"!

The seven success secrets, as outlined by Joe Bonobo:

1. Be yourself

2. Look up!
...OK, but if I see a spider on the ceiling, I might freak out.

3. Courtesy counts!, I think it can be a bit overrated so that's one to work on.

4. How friendly are you?
...pretty damned, thank you very much.

5. Take the initiative!

6. That string on your finger!
...uhm, I think he's talking about memory here??? What?

7. Persistence pays off!
...That's what I always say.

It looks like I am on my way to rocking even harder than I already do. Thanks Joe Bonobo.

I have found a myriad of entertaining things in the house so far. The next file will be about some old drawings done by myself and my Autistic brother. Don't miss it!

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