Keep On Keepin’ On!

It sometimes seems as though life just takes you from one experience to another…and without waiting for you to catch up.

I just completed six-weeks of radiation treatments, five-days each week, on the 2nd. That’s a lot of riding and at today’s prices, a lot of more costly fuel. Oh well, what price health? The treatments were scheduled for early afternoon each day, each appointment went off without a hitch, and I was in and out very quickly each time. I can’t say enough nice things about the staff at Bayhealth in Milford.

The preparations, travel, and after effects consumed the better part of each day, and adjusting to this confining routine took some doing. The most detrimental side-effect for me was fatigue which really began to ramp-up during the second week. By the time I arrived back at home each day and had eaten my main meal, I had all I could do to get to my recliner. Even with an hour or two of rest, I found that I just didn’t have any energy and couldn’t focus on things that required any degree of concentration. I didn’t lapse into a “boob tube” malaise, however, I found I just wasn’t interested in very much of anything. But I knew I had to try to do a little something each day, and managed to complete one or two lamp projects. Paperwork of any kind suffered, I’m afraid.

Now, almost one week to the day from completing the series, I can honestly say that I feel like my old self. Hope I can stay that way for awhile. Getting back into the routine feels good and I’m looking forward to finishing each lamp and reconnecting them with their respective owners.

Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding! Thanks too for your heartfelt support and prayers.


Growing Pains

The lamp repair business has grown since it was established in March of 2018, serving an ever-widening portion of the Delmarva Peninsula. Future plans involve faster turnaround times on all repairs, same-day service for certain repairs, and issuing printed tickets complete with a photo of the lamp as presented. Customers will also have the ability to track repair progress by accessing a special page on the website, and even view the finished ticket which will list all parts used along with a photo of the finished lamp.

But putting life into those plans involves time. Given the current backlog of work waiting to be completed, additional time would not be available in the foreseeable future unless something were to be done. I need more time to focus on one or the other: picture framing or lamp repair.

The decision was lamp repair. The frame shop ceased taking new orders on August 4th, and all current open work orders for picture frames are anticipated to be completed by mid-December. Carey’s Frame Shop will officially cease doing business at the end of 2021. A list of other shops in the area may be found here.

The store property is part of the family estate, which following my mother’s death in early June, will need to be settled in due course. Regardless of that outcome, Old Lamps New Again will continue to operate. Any decision to relocate the business will more than likely include staying in the Millsboro area.


Cleaning Antique Glass Globes

We all like to see our antique lamps sparkle and shine. Sometimes we may be tempted to do something that eventually produces unwanted results. Begin with a thorough cleaning to avoid applying anything over surface grime. Many times it is the presence of grime that creates a dull appearance. But before beginning, inspect the globe carefully and check for any hairline cracks.

Wash the lamp with warm, soapy water. When cracks are present in glass globes, apply pressure sparingly, moving gently across the surface, going in the same direction of any crack, and avoid pressing inward (as in squeezing the globe) which could compress the glass and cause the crack to spread.

Remove dust, dirt, and grease film, and then rinse with warm water. A dab of the soap you are using applied directly to stubborn spots can help to release the build-up. Full-strength white vinegar can also be used. Employ nothing more rigid than your fingernail to rub really difficult spots.

Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely. Use rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and wipe to remove any soap film, first testing a small and inconspicuous area of any painted artwork to ensure its integrity. Set aside and allow to air-dry.

At this point, a coat of clear lacquer or spray may serve to protect the painted globe and provide the bright, shiny surface you wish to achieve. While this is a relatively simple procedure when disassembled in the shop, lamps on display in the home are a different situation. The gentle application of wax may be a better solution, and any name-brand carnauba wax will suffice. Just observe the same precautions as mentioned previously for cleaning.

One simple thing I try to remember when working with vintage and antique items: Less Is Best.

Millsboro Photos

Millsboro of the 50’s and 60’s that most my age remember is now the stuff of memories, but memories that we like to recall and share with our family and friends. And, I have also found that newcomers have an interest in knowing more about their chosen surroundings.


As much as I appreciate progress, I find myself feeling somewhat sad about the changes that I see taking place and each one tends to push those memories a little further into the distance. The disappearance of Hitchens Auto Supply into the mists of time was just one of the more recent changes that encourage me to stand quietly and gaze down Main Street. I can begin to see people who are no longer with us walking into a place of business, cars and trucks moving in both directions, and suddenly I am back in time to another day.

Likewise, old photographs can produce the same sentiment. Millsboro readers of this may recall some of the people associated with Hitchens Auto Supply. One, in particular, Atwood Timmons. He worked the counter for Theodore many years until his retirement in the 90s. Some of you may recall that Atwood was into go-karting and took pictures at the go-kart track on what was known then as Blueberry Hill, now home to Fallbrooke Apartments, on Mitchell Street. He also regularly took photos around Millsboro and fortunately of few of those have survived the ravages of time. I sat down with Atwood several years ago and went through his carousels of slides, and subsequently converted those he could identify, from the 40s through the 70s, to a more current format.

Before the “mists of time” become denser, it’s time to share these photos with a greater audience. They are not all captioned, certainly not in any specific order, perhaps not oriented properly, and some will have a red tint due to the original film on which they were recorded. But, I hope that you can enjoy them for the memories.

Click here for the Millsboro Photo Gallery


Photo Retouching

Occasionally, a customer will bring in a photograph that they want to have “repaired”, and most of the time the damage is a result of direct contact with the glass in the frame. In one case, the photo was still in the frame, and it was my sad duty to remove it in pieces, in front of the customer.


Fortunately, in every case, I had the services of a photo retouching expert at my disposal. Armed with lots of talent and the latest tools, the details of the photo could be restored. After putting the photo in a new frame, the results helped to make a very happy customer.


Another example of the damage that can result from a photo being in direct contact with glass is this photo of a small girl.


Again, the details have been restored and the customer had the memories of this happy moment likewise restored to them.


Not all photographs are candidates for our custom picture framing services; I get that. Many times, the garden variety off-the-shelf frame from a hobby, drug, or department store will provide a quicker turnaround and a more economical solution for most personal photographs.

But in any case, putting a cherished and perhaps irreplaceable photo in direct contact with glass is a recipe for disaster. The simple day-to-day changes in temperature and the presence of humidity will begin their dance of death the moment the picture is put next to the glass. It’s just a matter of time.

An unseen benefit of custom picture framing provides a separation between the artwork (or photo) and the glass, whether it is in the form of a mat or special spacers. When you do decide to purchase a ready-made frame from one of the retail outlets, just make sure that you provide some means of keeping the photo away from the glass.

And when you are ready to create a lasting memory to keep in the family or provide something of value to share as a gift, come in and allow me to help you make the appropriate choices from our selection of quality matboards and picture frame mouldings.


Caulk Friends

News of recent retirements of two people from L. D. Caulk (Dentsply/Caulk, Sirona/Dentsply), in Milford, with whom I had the privilege of working, Mark Silicato and Peggy Johnson, has brought back many memories.

During my time at Caulk, I witnessed a number of changes to the facility and to procedures as the company responded to major changes in the industry. I can only imagine what Mark and Peggy experienced during their 30+ years of service that bookended my tenure.

Looking back now, I can’t seem to recall any of the issues or problems that at the time might have clouded any of our days. I can only remember the smiles and goodwill as we worked together to get things done.


One of the events we always looked forward to was the annual company picnic, for a few years held on the lawn in front of Building 3, on Lakeview Avenue. Tents were put in place the day before and preparations would be in full swing very early on the appointed day. I vividly remember a “Barney Fife” impersonator at one such event.

I took some pictures during the picnic in 2002, and have always intended to share them. Well, I think it’s just about time. In addition, there are some photos from parties for two earlier retirees. To pay a tribute to Mark and Peggy, and in honor all of my old Caulk co-workers, I’ve created a photo gallery over at


Walnut Floor Lamp

It is easy to understand why people who engage in any form of woodworking are generally very pleasant people to be around. When you see an object that has been transformed from a raw piece of wood into an object of beauty or functionality, take the time to appreciate the artist who could envision it. Such objects simply cannot be the products of people with bad attitudes.

Most of the lamps that come into my shop are metal or ceramic. Occasionally, a lamp made from wood will be brought in and so far most of them have been made by a home woodworker. I always take time to admire these creations.

One such item came to me in the form of a carved walnut floor lamp. On first seeing the lamp, my reaction was not unlike that of seeing a wounded or neglected animal. The sad appearance of this once elegant lighting fixture, now needing new electrical sockets and thoroughly matted with grime, was almost as disheartening. But, like the woodworker who created it, I could see the beauty within and it was time to do my part.

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Elderly Call Button 

Several years ago I returned to my family home to assist my mother with managing her home and business. As her health situation has gradually declined, I took over the business, and then the role of primary caregiver for this remarkable 99-year old lady. Over time, I realized that I needed to provide a better way for her to summon me when help was needed.


Meeting the daily needs of an elderly parent brings with it a lot of responsibility, and finding workable solutions for what should be simple issues can be challenging. Although we are separated by less than a hundred feet at any point in the house, my mother’s ability to communicate an immediate need was a big problem. Her vocal calls for assistance could not be heard over the normal household noises, and the use of her ever-present mobile phone was no longer a viable tool as her ability to manage technology continued to diminish.

So what to do? I checked the Internet repeatedly and found all sorts of mobile phone app solutions and expensive monthly monitoring services. Nope. We didn’t need to reach anyone outside of the home. In the daytime, when I’m absent, we have in-home services for Mother. Someone is always with her. All we needed was the ability for her to reach me between two floors and at opposite ends of the house. That’s all.

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