Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Love to Johnny

Today would have been Johnny Cash's 81st birthday. And I just spent waaaaaaay too much time watching clips from his prison concerts. I love those the most out of all of the videos of him because he was such a pistol and you can see the true Johnny coming out, I think. He said and did what he wanted and sounded and looked damned good while doing it.

Here's a video from when he first started out. He was a baby faced twenty three years old here.

 Here's to Johnny - loved by many and duplicated by none.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Who Wanted The Front Door? And "In With The New!"

First up:   I've exchanged emails twice in the past year with a lovely Nashville area reader about their desire for a vintage front door. I even saved those emails...and now, I can't find them. Hon, if you're reading this, email me. I might have one for you if I'm remembering your hubby's favorite number right!

Next up: Lisa and I went to pick up our leftover wares and checks (heehaw!) from the consignment sale with Family Tree yesterday. We did pretty darned good! I only had a handful of adult clothes left and quite a few baby clothes - which I'll pretend aren't the fates telling me to become a Mama Rabbit.  Back into the Samsonite they go! Lisa is going to buy a snazzy new vacuum cleaner and my money is going into the fund to get our couch (AKA "the cat scratching post") reupholstered. We have such grown-up dreams. I love it. We could have blown our loot on snow cones and strippers but noooo...we're getting a vacuum cleaner and a new couch!

While we were there, Melissa from Family Tree made the mother of all offers to let us shop the remaining items that hadn't been picked up by their owners. Pretty sneaky, sis! Let me just say that we didn't have to be asked twice. There was some pretty great stuff left on the racks surprisingly. Lisa got some insanely good dresses (I'm talking one with a feathered hood) and a Spring hat. I only got one item but was really happy that it was this hand-tooled leather purse - for five bucks! These babies are hard to come by cheaply here in a Country and Western town. (Okay, Country and Western has been replaced with something else in the past few decades but let me live my dream.)

Oh, hello Mr. Kitten Pants!

Note: He's recently become Mr. Cat Pants but we don't talk about it.

I also wanted to show you these pretty Dennison die-cut birds that I bought on Etsy. 

You may know that I'm bonkers for bird themed things. There has always been an attraction to elementary school type bulletin board cutouts for me. I'll admit that before I turned into a hormone filled teenage jerk, I was quite the teachers' pet in my elementary school. My teachers used to let me help them decorate the bulletin boards and it's a thrill that I've never been able to shake. I still get a little giddy from scalloped paper edging and die-cut alphabet letters. Yes, I'm a total fruitcake. They also let me make copies for their classes which was a high honor because you got to leave class while it was underway.

Wow, I just realized that some of you kids have no idea what a hand-crank mimeograph machine smells like! Would you believe that I grew up in an era when schools didn't have Xerox machines or even computers? Holy heck! I'll spare you the technical details but let me just say that freshly mimeographed handouts had the olfactory lure of model airplane glue to kids. The second we'd get handed fresh, warm papers covered in brand new ink, we'd all stick them up to our faces and huff the fumes whenever the teachers turned their backs. Crazy little tweekers. You can only imagine how jealous the other kids were of the kids who actually got to stand near the machine while it was printing. Gah, no wonder I was so hyper as a kid. I was seriously given license to ill.

Here is what one looks like if you've never seen one:

Yep! If the teacher wanted a hundred copies, I'd just stand there and turn and turn....and turn and turn. I know! It's like something from The Flintstones, right? I totally grew up in prehistoric times. Why, our cameras had little birds inside that carved photos onto rocks with their beaks. I can't help but think that these days, kids wouldn't be allowed within a hundred yards of a mimeograph machine for fear that they'd get a limb ripped off.

Back to school: My favorite thing to do as a kid was to play "school" with my best friend Carla. She was also a teachers' pet kind of girl and our teachers would give us class handouts and books that were going to be trashed. We'd go home and line up the dolls and stuffed animals in little chairs and take them to task. I remember that she had a doll named "Epilepsy".

Lordy...this is such a random post but since this might never come up again, I know a school teacher who once had a kid in her class named Gonorrhea. The parents were sadly and completely clueless and said that the little girl's name was pronounced "Go-Nora". Oh, that poor kid!  It sounds like someone else should have packed their baby clothes away in the Samsonite luggage and took a pass on the whole offspring thing.

ANYWAY - I got these birds from the same seller that I got the portrait of the rosy cheeked children in my previous post from. I'd love to recommend her shop called Grandmother's Attic. I learned about her shop from Retro Ruth and was happy to see all of the pretties that she keeps in her shop. This was my first time buying from her but she was such a delight to work with and no kidding, my package was in my mailbox within just a couple of days. In the era of a whole hunk of bad customer service in this world, I can't help but crow when someone is super nice.

I hope that all of you girls and guys are having a great week so far. It's eking towards Spring here but I learned that opening windows is just a pipe dream what with my neighbor's three barking dogs. Still, the kitties are enjoying the sunbeams and I'm enjoying even the idea of Spring. I'm not usually a warm weather person so I'm not sure what's up with me! I'd like to blame the chocolate rabbits in the stores for getting me in the mood for Spring allergies and mosquitoes.   : )

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Family Members

I couldn't resist buying this portrait when I saw it on Etsy. I'm a sucker for hand-tinted photos and this little girl is so adorable.

But then....it gets even better!


And better still! 


Those little scamps' faces are so great. And just equally as great are the boys' shirts complete with their names and wee little bears holding candy canes!  Sweeeeet! Their colored-on rosy cheeks make the whole photo even more adorably Good Ship Lollipop.

Unfortunately, I have no information on who these children are. From looking up the name of the photo studio that did the portrait, there is a good chance that they are from Rochester, New York.  Of course, I'm sure that there were and still are a bazillion Jimmys and Bills in New York so hello, needle in a haystack! You never know though - maybe they'll find this picture on the internet and will say "hello" one day - and more than likely assure us that they didn't wear this much blush in real life.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hey, Did You Happen To See The Most Pitiful Chair In The World?

I consider myself a buff of crappy Craigslist ads. I even have a folder where for some ungodly reason, I collect the worst ads that I can find. Today, I was lured in with the promise of a free "vintage green rocker recliner". Now I could prattle on about this all day but instead, I'm gonna let you lay your eyes upon the chair.

Le Sigh. 
Here is the text of the ad: 

Vintage 1970's-1980's green beat up, duct taped rocker recliner. lol.. see photo. will need to be cleaned some, but still in fair shape. squeeks when one rocks. Was my mother's and she sat and rocked in it for over 30 years. Good for college dorm/college kids, folks with no $ for furniture. Serious only.. in order for me to contact you.. i have to have proof you are not a wiseacre and or scammer. I have met alot of them here. Name and phone number please. my number is _____ . thanks and be blessed

1.   I get sooooo tired of people giving things away for free that should be taken to the dump.

 2. The "lol" in this ad incites me. Our society is emotionally maimed by the epidemic of "lol". The "lol" may have started out as charming and cute back in the day when whoever we can thank for being too lazy to type "laughing out loud" started the whole thing, but these days, it's quite honestly used mostly to punctuate things that we shouldn't be laughing out loud at. It's become the written equivalent of the person who stands alone in a public place, laughing out loud with no recognizable reason to be laughing out loud - the person who scares the bejeebus out of the rest of us.

 3. Forget the duct tape. Or okay, let's pretend that one can forget the duct tape. But I guarantee you that in the Summer time, when you try to sit in this chair with your short shorts on, you'll not be able to possibly forget it. Or when guests come over. You might as well spray paint a big "LOL" across the front of it so that you don't even have to address the chair with visitors.

 4. The ad states "will need to be cleaned some".  That leads one to wonder what that big brown, crispy spot up at the headrest is.  I'll tell you what it is. Someone had a little bit of spontaneous human combustion. That there is one hell of a singe mark. They were taking a load off and went up in flames and never came back. The new owner of the inherited chair says that they don't want any "wiseacres" or "scammers" contacting them but only college students and folks with no furniture money. I say that with a chair like this, you'd better take whoever will get this thing at least out onto the front porch for you. I'm not even going to let myself think about how sad it is that Mother "sat and rocked in it for over 30 years". This whole situation with this chair just depresses me. Rant finished.

 When reached for comment, my own vintage green recliner said that he just wanted to be left alone.


Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fun Things in Nashville This Weekend!

I know that I have many Nashville area readers so I wanted to put a bug in your ear (where on Earth did that phrase come from? Isn't it completely strange?) about a couple of fun events happening in Nashville this weekend.

First up, the first-ever Nashville Print Revival will be holding all sorts of fun events. My boo is involved with this so I'd love to see big crowds, showing their love for the art of printmaking. You can read about the events here in The Nashville Scene's article from today. If you're looking for some great prints for your home or fun and original gifts for your friends and family, be sure and stop by the Print Fair on Saturday night between 7pm and 10pm at the Barista Parlor in East Nashville. At that event, the Doughworks Donut truck will be parked outside. I hear that they not only have speciality doughnuts but also sandwiches and hot dogs on doughnuts. I want to pretend to be disgusted by the idea of sandwiches on doughnuts but I'm soooo not, y'all!

Here is the website for the Nashville Print Revival with more info about the events and mission behind the Print Revival. Nashville is a town that notoriously appreciates not only its rich printmaking history but also new printmakers who come onto the scene - so give 'em some love!

Second, the big Family Tree Estate Sales vintage clothing and accessories sale starting tomorrow (8am until 6pm) and going through Saturday (8am to 4pm). I've heard that any items left on Saturday will be 50% off! Whoot!  From what I've seen so far, even their first-day prices are going to be very fair. You heard a little about the sale in my post yesterday where I was working through the process of donating. The ladies keep adding photos to the sale preview page and I just saw some of the cutest little square dance style dresses. There will be great vintage items for ladies, men and even the little kidlets.  For all the details on the sale, go here. Besides hoping that I get a nice commission check, I'd love to see this sale be a hit for the Family Tree ladies. They're always so nice and I never fail to look forward to going to their sales and chatting them up.

If you go to the sale and you haven't already, check out the new thrift store that has taken the place of our dear old Salvation Army down the street - if for no other reason than to make you appreciate how decent the old store was in comparison to this new place. Lisa and I hit the store after we took our purged consignment items to Family Tree (what can I say....it's ironic that we'd do so, yes) and let me tell you, it's kind of....um...odd in there?

The tone of the place was set pretty quickly when as we were entering the store, an employee snapped at us like we were misbehaving puppies for attempting to go in the wrong door (which was only mere feet from the approved door). The place has a real dark, dirty feeling and instead of keeping their stock in the back, they keep it all crumpled up in black garbage bags underneath the clothing racks, making shoppers feel like we are crashing a nasty teenage boy's bedroom. We did see some cute things mixed in there (including some vintage evening dresses and cardigan sweaters) so it's worth a stop (and some hand sanitizer afterwards). If nothing else, go by to get haunted house style chills at the ill-advised stack of stained mattresses (why?? WHY??) and the truly bizarre assortment of stuffed animals, home items and even bicycles and lawn chairs hanging from the ceiling, giving the feeling that pretty soon, your family is going to be involved in a wrongful death lawsuit after you get hit in the head with a dangling child's chair or briefcase and get sent on home to Jesus.

One wonders how pissed the staff would be if we tried to buy something from the ceiling.

Like a sorority girl at a biker bar, that festive party banner has no clue how it ended up in such a place. 

We also saw chairs being held together by duct tape and crumpled sections of "real human hair" weaves for sale amongst the dishes and knickknacks. A retro green velvet couch set brought us hope until we saw the crusty white stains. The shoe section was partly made up of shopping carts full of jumbled shoes that weren't matched in pairs. Maybe they'll get their act together soon and we can all say that we were veterans of the old store when it was still "hardcore". I'm usually not opposed to rooting around in madness and dirt to find treasures but as it stands now, I got some real " it places the lotion in the basket" feelings from the place. I can't recall the name of it and have no idea if they're a charity thrift store or not. If they are and you know what they're raising money for, please let me know.

Wow, I went from making Nashville seem hip and fun to making everything sad and horrible. That said, wherever you are - and whatever you do this weekend, have a great time of it!

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train

While I was searching for a title to today's post, Uncle Dave Macon's song "Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train" came on and I thought that it would be perfect. Of course, this post has nothing at all to do with what the song is actually about  (1930's bank failure and political scandal) but it seemed like the way to go since honestly, I recently spent a day teetering on being a complete wreck and risking emotional bankruptcy. Thanks to clothes. Yes, clothes.

This week, I had a little tea party with aging and mortality. You see, Family Tree Estate Sales is having a vintage clothing sale this weekend and Lisa and I had been talking about taking some things out there to consign. While she admitted to coming to terms with a wee bit of vintage clothing hoarding, I'd only half-admitted to my own personal demons - until I cracked open the bins of clothes that I'd been storing away and found that those very demons were buzzing around me like horseflies at a rodeo.

"And Now we're up against it and no use to raise a row, but of all the times I've ever seen.. we're sure up against it now..." - Uncle Dave Macon

I'm forty two. There - I said it. There is no getting around it. It happens to all of us sooner or later. When I was in my thirties, I had an entire closet full of vintage clothes - cute dresses, pin-up lingerie, swing skirts and back-breaking heels. I only wore vintage. I'd hit the thrift stores every Saturday and then come home with at least a dozen new-to-me and economical vintage items to further strain my tiny-and-bursting rental house closet. Trust me when I say that those were the days when you could find great vintage for cheap in thrift stores in Nashville. I had just gone through a divorce and had wiggled free from a long and stifling marriage. I was finally discovering who I was and I felt like there weren't enough hours in the day to feel free and to try new things. I had gone from owning a wardrobe of dour, my-life-has-no-joy clothes to bright and cheerful fashions of hopeful eras past. I couldn't get enough of them and snatched them up with vigor.

When I watch "Sex And The City" reruns now, I realize that I was a Carrie Bradshaw. I was hustling and bustling and happily dating and undergoing heart wrenching breakups -  I was awash in joie de vivre. I'd write on my blog about everything that happened with no filter. I remember my Mom emailing me once after reading a blog post and saying, "And just WHO is this 'bad boy' whose arm you woke up under?!"  Sorry Mom. I'd stay out late and go in to work tired and answer those phone lines, barely sitting up straight. I wasn't a boozer, mind you. I was just drunk on life. Those swishy skirts and talkative heels got me through the days better than any of today's energy drinks ever could. Stories...oh god, I had stories. And enough laughter and tears to last a lifetime.

Fast forward to forty two. When you age, your body changes. And it's not like I've done a lot to keep it from changing. That would be the "gravy" in the "Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train".  Yum...gravy. So, I stored away the majority of these cute dresses and vintage items, saying that one day, I'd fit back into them again. And years kept passing. When I pulled out those bins this week and started to come to terms with each item, I felt like I was undergoing exposure therapy. Pulling out dresses and remembering first (and last) dates that I'd gone on in each of them....thinking back on music shows and weekend trips.....holding small-waisted skirts up to myself and looking in the mirror only to wonder if I'd once had some ribs removed to fit into them.

There was a real battle going on as to whether I should keep them and hit the treadmill - or let them go so that other Carrie Bradshaws could live days worth remembering in them. I reasoned that surely there were other girls like me - starting fresh but looking back to eras past for clues on how to showcase their future. In the end, I packed up three bags full and took them to the sale. I won't even get started talking about the two suitcases worth of vintage baby clothes that I took along as well - my acceptance that children aren't in my future is fodder for another day's post. Life takes twists and turns and though we think we know what's going to happen - trust me, we don't. Like I said, it's been a real week! I think that's why I'm always telling my younger friends to enjoy things more and to take things lighter - there is always time for deep reflection and planning - and during your twenties and thirties is not the time to spend most of our time that way. Some, of course - but not all.

I once heard a psychic say that when we bring vintage items home with us, we should realize that they carry the residual energy from those who have owned them before. This can be positive energy or negative energy. She said that if someone was generally happy, their items would go forth through the decades carrying this happy energy until perhaps an event happened to shift the energy from happy to unhappy. Going through those bins of clothing took me through waves of both.

I'm never going to be that person who wore those clothes again - but who's to say that I'm not (or won't soon be) an even better person? The days and nights that I spent in those clothes made me who I am today. This emotional week of purging has made me realize that the items that we allow into our lives - our clothing, home furnishings, and even people - are like the wardrobe, set design and supporting cast of our lives. They don't make us who we are but they can affect our moods and how we view ourselves. They can also absorb our residual energy. That said, holding on to the old sometimes takes up space where the new should be.

My life is good now. New loves and lost loves have given way to having an amazing husband. Who's to say if I would have ever been able to fit into those clothes again - but I've let them go. They won't be here for me to torture myself with. Yes, I was strong then but I'm also strong now. - and my life is hardly over. Do I stay up until three in the morning on weeknights these days, singing along with rockabilly bands and going all out? Hardly. These days, I'm more likely to be found during those wee morning hours either nursing a sick animal or a bout of insomnia. Party on.

When the estate sale company posted photos of some of the sale merchandise this morning, I could see some of my old items displayed there. Admittedly, I did have a bit of a panic and wanted to go snatch them up - but then I realized that just like with the women who had worn those clothes before I had, there comes a time when you have to let go and move on - and see where life takes you. There are seasons in fashion - but also in life too.

"The only thing that we can do is to do the best we can. Follow me good people. I'm bound for the promised land..."   - Uncle Dave Macon, "Wreck of the Tennessee Gravy Train"

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fun Happenings at the Ranch

Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes for Moxie, our little Valentine of a foster dog. This weekend, she went to stay with a family that hopes that they'll be able to adopt her. They're trying to see how she transitions with their two dogs but we have fingers crossed that it will work out. And yes, I cried like a goon when she left. In fact, the entire time that the foster was filling out the seven pages of the adoption application, I was a wreck with tears rolling down my face. I imagine that the foster was ready to go running out of my house. Talk about awkward! Yes, I get attached fast.

We got some fun news this week when we found out that a photo that the Mister and I did got chosen as an honorable mention in a contest on the NPR show "Studio 360". The theme of the contest was "Are We Alone in The Universe?" and I knew that I had just the photo in my archives to submit.

That's me and my mannequin boy Jack wearing tinfoil hats and staring into the landing lights of an actual flying saucer. Okay, not really - we're staring into the flood lights on the side of my house but still...spooky.

I'm a big fan of NPR and "Studio 360" so I was super giddy when I found out that we'd been chosen as a favorite.  Not since Honey Boo Boo recently liked a photo that I posted on her Facebook page have I been so thrilled. (Some of the other Boo Boos liked it too but of course, I was gunning for approval from the main Boo Boo!) Somehow, the NPR approval seems much classier though.

Here is what Michele Siegel from NPR said about our photo:

"This one immediately reminded me of a Gregory Crewdson photo. (Crewdson shoots painstakingly art-directed scenes that look like stills from a magic realist movie.) With the faint shadowy trees in the background and a harsh spooky glow from above, it's tempting to write the image off as too Close Encounters-influenced. But take a closer look at the figures. The child is actually a child-sized mannequin with a creepy and ecstatically happy clown face. The pair might be looking up to the glowing night sky at a sign of extraterrestrial life, but the non-human mannequin also reminds the viewer that here on earth there's often something other-worldly going on too."

It made me laugh that Michele said that Jack has "a creepy and ecstatically happy clown face". That's my boy! He inherited his "face made for radio" from his Mom. I love any comparison to Gregory Crewdson's work as both the Mister and I are huge fans.

 I am constantly hatching ideas for photo shoots and then enlisting the Mister to be my photographer. We've done so many funny ones with Jack. The flying saucer photo shoot was one of my favorites ever because we live really close to our next door neighbor and I couldn't help but wonder what he'd think if he looked out of his window and saw the Mister and me with a screaming mannequin boy and tinfoil hats, staring up into the flood lights in the middle of the night.

Here is one of my favorite outtakes:

We figure that it will only be a matter of time before Hollywood comes calling..

But we'll be prepared! We're getting Jack's face ready for all of those close-ups and I am studying the great novels so that I'll be ready to write movie scripts. I'm sure that Hollywood will ask me to do so.  It will only make sense for it to happen that way. 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy V-Day!

I was going to do a post for today about how whackadoodle Valentine's Day can be sometimes. No, not the sentiment behind it - I like that. I just dislike the commercialism and how we ladies are led to believe that we simply must receive something from one of the major jewelry pushers or a bottle of perfume with some silly celebrity-hyped name in order to feel truly appreciated. I had a big ole post brewing in my head.

Then, this happened:


We found her yesterday, huddled and scared out of her wits. After much good wool coat ruining and Vienna sausage coaxing, I had her in my car and now she's on my sunporch. We're calling her Moxie. She's ADORABLE...let me tell you! -  but those cats that rule my roost? They're going bonkers. I think I slept a total of thirty seconds last night - and those were while I was still in my street clothes and makeup.

So, this morning while the Mister was prepared for this festive day - vintage Pyrex full of chocolate and a nice card - I was not. All that I could do was promise him that I DID have a card for him and that it just wasn't written in yet. And that I was planning to cook a surprise dinner for him tonight...but now it wouldn't be happening. Um...surprise!

We know that around here, that's just the way that the cookie crumbles sometimes. Mister Kitsch truly showed his love for me (and a newly found Moxie) last night by going out in the frigid cold to hang signs that he made. And by going to get flea medicine and food and supplies. And this morning while babysitting Moxie while I stood in the shower, already exhausted from the search for Moxie's owner that had already begun late last night.

Whether you're a Valentine's Day skeptic like me - or a full-fledged reveler, take the time today to remember why you love who you love - and why they love you. And if you're completely not in the mood for love right now, just go on ahead and love yourself. I'm sure that you deserve it.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This is Ruffing Awesome

I know a lot of you are like me and have been hitting:

                Dance Around.

on the amazing song "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore &  Ryan Lewis so I had to share this remake version with you from the angle of freshly adopted shelter dogs:

You know that I'm so about promoting shelter adoptions and I think they did a great job with that one. I fall out when that dog says, "Dang, that's a cold-ass Shar-Pei."  And jeez Louise....how many of us want a DeLorean?! I'd fill that thing full of dogs and roll.

If you haven't seen NPR's Tiny Desk Concert with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, go watch. It is  fifteen minutes of fabulousness.  The first song "Same Love" is amazing and always makes me get weepy eyed. You'll also get to see "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us" (with a mighty fine feature spot with Ray Dalton).  Go here to watch.

Okay, Edit: I want a DeLorean full of dogs and Macklemore. He's a cutie.

Also check out the rest of the awesome Tiny Desk Concerts over on YouTube. There are currently 197 concerts online. I always like to see who will pop up next.

Have a great Wednesday, y'all! And for those of you who are still hanging in there with ABC's "Nashville", it was finally getting juicy last week. Let's see what happens tonight!

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

There are wants...and then there are needs

I'm not sure which one this is.

I saw this giant Easter Bunny at an estate sale Friday morning. It was shoved on a dusty basement shelf amongst too many homemade ceramic doodads and knickknacks to count. I mean, there were so many ceramics in that house that my mind couldn't even concentrate - and let me tell you: I'm pretty well immersed in hoarderly knick-knack pickin'! I'm not easily overwhelmed - but this place overwhelmed me. I didn't buy him because he was twenty five dollars. Yes, twenty five dollars.

This was the waaaaay overpriced sale that I told y'all about on Friday. Now, even though I love crazy stuff like this, I am of a pretty firm understanding that a good portion of the population wouldn't piss on kitsch if it were on fire - and if that kitsch is a giant big eyed bunny driving a truck? Yeah..there is not much competition. So, of course, he was still there yesterday morning so that I could get him at a steep bargain basement discount.

He's just driving his wooden truck with the equally wooden wheels...minding his own business. 
Ain't nothin' wrong with a hugely out-of-scale Easter egg in his mind. Everything is normal.

I like that he's enormous. To give you the scale, he barely fit into my kitchen sink. I think I would have had an easier time washing a real rabbit in my sink. This means that he packs major drama and that more than likely, Pip won't be strong enough to send him crashing to the floor. Oh lordy, don't let those be my famous last words because I think he might be hard to replace. (If you have ten of these, please don't tell me.)

In other estate sale news, we had actually gone to the sale to look at a record player that I saw yesterday. Mister Kitsch took it down off of a shelf in a dark corner of the basement and this dealer got mad that he got to it first and caused a real scene. It was beyond ridiculous. Now, mind you this record player had been on that shelf for sale since Thursday morning at daybreak and the man who caused the fuss wasn't even looking at it when the Mister grabbed it. In fact, he was looking the other way at another table and as far as we could tell, didn't even know that the record player existed.
He caused a big stink and kept talking smack to Mr. Kitsch (who kept ignoring him) before it was done the man told the Mister that he "should have slapped him". What on Earth? I couldn't believe that some random jackass in an estate sale basement told my husband that he needed to be smacked. Now, the Mister is the non-confrontational type and just kept completely ignoring him but I was 110%  steamed. I don't know what gets into people at estate sales sometimes. It's not like it was the last square inch of breathable air in a coal mine. It was a dusty, used record player - that in the end, didn't even work!  

People are crazy sometimes, y'all.

I hope that you all are having a great weekend! We're moving furniture around today. Should be fun and I'm sure we'll finally figure out where all of the fuzzy mice and ponytail ties went. Win/Win.

Oh, and to my Nashville/Tennessee area peeps: Please do me a huge favor and quickly sign this petition to get reform at our Metro Nashville animal shelter. It is with a saddened, animal-loving heart that I report that it's a horrible place and currently has a 76% kill rate - that is out of control and there is a group of us that is trying to get changes made. Quite honestly, as an animal rescuer, I can't take their unwillingness to treat animals humanely anymore:  Help Reform Metro Nashville Animal Control.   And please pass the petition around if you know other animal lovers (or heck, anyone with a heart) in the Nashville area. We need 20,000 signatures before it can go to the Mayor. Thanks y'all! 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kodak: 1922

The following clip is a full-color Kodachrome film made in 1922 by Kodak to test new film stock and color processing. I could watch these actresses flutter and fuss forever, just like most of the starlets of the silent film era. This was done five years before the first "talky" so expressiveness was very important for actresses of that day. This was during the era when theater films were still strictly black and white and this was thirteen years before the first full-length feature color film -  so this had to feel just as much like magic to the folks at Kodak as it does to us now. Like "catching lightning in a bottle" - or even more fitting: on film.

Here is a little info on the actresses you'll see with full credit going to the Kodak site here.

"In these newly preserved tests, made in 1922 at the Paragon Studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, actress Mae Murray appears almost translucent, her flesh a pale white that is reminiscent of perfectly sculpted marble, enhanced with touches of color to her lips, eyes, and hair. She is joined by actress Hope Hampton modeling costumes from The Light in the Dark (1922), which contained the first commercial use of Two-Color Kodachrome in a feature film. Ziegfeld Follies actress Mary Eaton and an unidentified woman and child also appear."

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Friday, February 8, 2013

The $3.85 Estate Sale Day

I went out in the blustery, freezing Robin plagued (more on that in a minute) cold this morning to hit up a couple of estate sales with Lisa. For the most part, the sales were duds. I bought $3.85 worth - and that was at two sales combined! The first sale just didn't really have much - though probably some things that I would have bought back in my younger days before my house started hitting maximum capacity (70's shelf liners......vintage Tupperware....a cardboard cut-out of Billy Ray Cyrus) - but here are the few things that I got.


Okay, here's the thing:  Due to the Chernobyl fall-out-style cleanup that one has to commit to after using it, I hardly ever use glitter - but I can't stop buying it. Especially when it comes in old packaging with the price written on it.  It's just so damned pretty. This bit me in the butt today because I bought it in a sealed grab-bag along with some throw-away items. When I got it home and opened the bag, I realized that they'd thrown the glitter containers in the bag with the tops in the "open" position so basically, I opened a bag of loose glitter on my lap. So now I'm just as fancy as my Mama always told me that I was. 

Speaking of fancy: 

Vintage Christmas Candy Box from Dinstuhl's Famous Candy store in Memphis

This is another genre that I can't resist - old candy boxes. This one was just too pretty to resist. If they're clean, I like to store things in them or use them to wrap presents in. Sometimes, I'll just throw them under the tree at Christmas to jazz things up. This is the kind of thing that I'll actually fight over at an estate sale. It looks like Dinstuhl's is still in business and their candy looks soooo good! 

When I was buying this, the estate sale lady warned me not to eat the chocolate inside. The box was empty so I thought she was joking until she told me that while she and the other workers were preparing the sale, one of her coworkers actually ate one of the chocolates that was inside. Now, mind you that had to be some decades old chocolate. Uggh. That poor lady probably had the runs fit for the record books later in the day. That might also explain some of the cracked-out prices that were on everything at that sale. I still can't get over those prices, even on day two.

Another genre that tugs at my heart strings: Old Office Supplies

And with a cute name like "Tuffy", they had to be mine. You'll also notice the "10 cent" price written right on the box. I have no clue why that appeals to me so much. 

Finally: This guy

Small cat complete with vest

He's made of yarn and soon after I got him home, my own cat (who is made out of piss and vinegar and nothing but time) tried to take him down. He now lives behind glass - like 95% of the items in my home.

$3.85 - I think that might have been my least expensive estate sale haul ever! It was a fun morning though. Lisa bought a great metal patio couch and I'm sure that it was comical for others to see us trying to wrestle that thing into her car - first the trunk....then the back seat...then upside down in the backseat....then out the windows....before giving up and driving to get another car to complete the transaction. There is something kind of exciting about the "will it fit?" moment when you drive a sedan and buy an item that may or may not fit! But the even more exciting moment? When you get it home. Holla! 
Oh! And the robins!

It's the time of year when a biblical sized flock of robins descends upon Nashville and for several days straight, rattle our house gutters and defecate on our cars. And oh, slam into our windows - so I've had all of the curtains drawn tight for two days now and the cats are going ballistic trying to get at those fat little robins. My photos are desperately suffering from the lack of sunlight in here. 

A lot of us drive around town in what for all intents and purposes are "bird poop mobiles" but thankfully, anyone who lives within a mile of a robin's favorite tasty haunt, the hackberry tree understands the deal. You can hardly drive down the road without having to slam on the brakes in fear that you're about to take out a whole mess of them that have decided to sit in the road to enjoy their hackberries and fresh rain puddles.  If you go out into the yard, it's some serious Tippi Hedren business, let me tell you. Here is a snapshot of just one tiny part of my yard. 

I hope that you all have a great weekend! For those of you in our North-Eastern U.S. who are about to get hit by that insanely huge historic snowstorm, please be safe and report in on the other side. We'll be sending good thoughts your way! 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

There Are No Fashion Shows Where You're Going, Catwoman!

Eartha Kitt doesn't get nearly enough play at Ranch Dressing if you ask me. When I found this Batman episode today, I felt like a kid again. I may be biased but I think it's the best one ever! There are some really amazing moments (and fashion!) here. Got 25 minutes? Then grab your Jiffy Pop and settle in!


Oh, and bonus!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How Tweet It Is

My bird wall continues to grow with beaks and bounds.  

This weekend, we added these guys:

And this pair:

And this fella:

Can anyone tell me what he is? I've been trying to figure it out. A pheasant? A chicken hawk? Any chalkware Ornithologists out there? Please give me your thoughts. 

He's only the second addition to the bird wall that didn't come with a partner. I think the other single bird is happy to see him arrive. 

I know that it's usually the male birds that are the most showy, but if you ask me, she's too dolled up to lie and say she's not interested in a little pheasant / chicken hawk / bachelor bird attention! We'll see how this plays out. I'm hoping that there will be a lot less drama and hot tub action than one sees on the typical "Bachelor" episode on TV.  One thing is for sure - I won't be allowing any of that "fantasy suite" action in my house. 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Building Stuff! and Cooking With Cereal!

The Mister and I were strolling through an antique store over two years ago and the potential findings were pretty bleak. The pickings had already been picked - and we were finding nothing. We were towards the end of the huge store when  I looked up towards the ceiling - and what did I see?

A big ole Paragon Tree Pak from back in the day - complete with tree topper and ornament hooks! You should have seen the store's lights bouncing off of those ornaments! Glory day!  I started squeal-speaking in the sort of incoherent gasping gibberish that is only reserved for the "oh my god, I have never seen this in my life!" kind of finds. Mister Kitsch had kept walking but after hearing the ruckus, stepped back (probably in deep trepidation) to see what I was making such a fuss over.

The sad part was that it was just after Christmas and I was dead broke - and this thing was remarkably out of my usual price range for "fun" items.  I don't remember exactly what all ensued but I do recall making all sorts of deals with the Mister about how I'd pay our bank account back if he'd let me get it. A few minutes later, a store clerk was climbing up high into the rafters and bringing it down. I remember hiding my face with my hands as she did, completely terrified that those ornaments were going to spring out of their packaging, straight to their deaths on the concrete floor.

Luckily, the whole shebang came down and out of the store intact. But that was two years ago. Since then, it's been hidden away in a closet. We finally got off of our duffs a couple of weekends ago and started the process towards getting it on display. We figured that a glass shadowbox would be the best option and off we went! Well, off the Mister went! I don't claim to be able to cut a straight line with anything so it was he who used the power tools.

 Luckily, the place where he works has a complete shop so we were able to go there and use all of the equipment.  I went with him to cheer him on and to oversee the process (which I'm quite good at).

Here he is cutting the notches for the glass to sit into in the frame. 

Note: Knowing what a worry-wart I am, can you even imagine having to be in a wood shop with me?

Here you can see how the ornaments are in their box. They were snug in their original packaging so we just left them there and put that inside of the frame. One of the ornaments was missing when we bought the set but luckily, I had a matching ornament in my own Christmas stash to fill in that spot. 

Here is the Mister many steps later.
The box has been completed and he is now measuring things up for the glass.

Pickle Party!

While he was slaving away, I made this intro board in case we ever decided to give him his own feature on Ranch Dressing.

...which he says will never happen because he hates when I show him on the internet.


Here he is incognito staining the frame.

After lots of slaving away on his part (and agreeing that things were going great on mine), the shadow box was finished this week. We decided to hang it in the dining room where the sun can bounce off of the ornaments for a little razzle-dazzle. 

I think it's pretty cool and it's fun to finally be able to see the ornaments instead of just shoving their box out of the way whenever I went to excavate something out of my closet. It does clash a little with my china cabinet contents which are still in their Fall theme from October - um, yeah....boy, am I behind! But if you think about it, I'm now actually a little ahead since Christmas is represented there too! 

Have you built anything lately? If so, do tell! Are you nuts for the power tools? Any seasonal projects that you've been putting off so long that holidays have merged into a great big blur? Do tell about those too! 

Oh! And on a pleased-as-party-punch note, Brian at Caker Cooking is featuring a recipe that I submitted today. I'm not going to give away the details but I can tell you that it came from this intriguing cookbook - and seriously, what's better than love and cereal? 

Click here to go see. Brian always tickles me to death with his writing and let me tell you - he comes up with some great recipes! February is reader submission month at Caker Cooking so color me intrigued by what's about to ensue....

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Show Them With Our Votes!

Hey y'all! If you haven't already, please skip on over to the Apartment Therapy "Homies" Awards voting page and give your clickety-click to Retro Renovation  in the "Best Home Design and Inspiration Blog" category.

The Retro Renovation ladies are currently in the lead - but just by twenty votes. There are five days left to vote so it would be fun if we can get them a big margin going!

I admit that it really gets me happy to see a website like Retro Renovation which is aimed at the appreciation, restoration and revival of vintage things in the lead on a site like Apartment Therapy. Okay..okay...maybe I still harbor a little resentment at how so many of their readers hate knotty pine but even so, it would be a real exciting moment to see Retro Renovation take this thing - and for those in the blogging world who haven't ever done so to give  a second thought to possibly keeping and loving the original items that they find in their homes.

If you'd like to vote, please go hereIf you're not already a member of the Apartment Therapy website, you'll have to start an account but it's super easy and I've never had them send me any unsolicited mail. And if you've never been to Retro Renovation, do go on over and see what all the talk is about. It's a great site and one that I always start my day with. The resources for period homes (or just dreaming about one) are absolutely endless over there.

If anyone else has their blog in the running, please tell us about it in the comments here. I just found out about the contest moments ago and am afraid that I won't have time to read all of the entries today to see how many that I'm familiar with. I don't want to slight anyone as that's not my game, y'all. If you're in the running, feel free to give your blog a little-shout out too! And be sure and let us know which voting category it's in so that we can check it out.

Thanks y'all! Enjoy your Sunday!

x's and o's,

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhogs in Love

We had snow this morning! Of course, it happened on the one morning that I slept in. Last night, I whined around about how tired I was and declared to the Mister and the kitties that this morning, I was going to sleep until my body woke me up. Curtains closed tight. No alarm clocks. No four o'clock kitty feedings. They nicely tiptoed around the house and let me sleep in - which was glorious! But when I woke up, I was informed that we'd had the most beautiful snow that fell for about three hours - and that now, the sun was up and it was all melted away. I missed it all.


The sun went back into hiding and I've been watching the sky for more snow all day but not a single flake has fallen. It's also left the house too dark to nicely photograph any thrift store finds from yesterday. So instead.....Groundhogs in Love!


I've never taken much stock in Groundhog Day (which is today) but I do love food that looks like animals. I started out by planning on making two dozen cupcakes with little groundhogs poking out of each one but then I became lazy and decided to turn the rest of the batter into cake layer. This is how you can tell that I'm not a great food blogger. I'm sure that food bloggers also have "Oh, Screw It!" kinds of days too but they'd be too smart to tell you about it and ruin the elusion that everything always turns out perfect and as planned.

Besides, I think that the groundhogs on the cupcakes were looking a little too terrified anyway!

This is a total "Don't eat me!!" look. 

I hope that you all are having a great (and non-terrifying) Saturday! 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Filling Oprah's Void

Just like Oprah used to do , I'd like to show you two of my favorite things - and both of them brand new!

I found this gator mug at the Goodwill today. He's such a chipper chap in his top hat and bow tie!
I need  another piece of glassware like I need a hole in the head but I couldn't pass this guy up. Or the rooster glasses....or the flower juice glass. Sigh. I kid you not - the glass and plate aisle at Goodwill is one of my most favorite places on Earth. I'll show you the other spoils tomorrow! 

I couldn't wait to get Mr. Gator  home and fill him with my other newest favorite thing: Nutella Hot Chocolate. Ohmygosh....it's SO good. There are several different recipes around but I got mine from Trish at the Jellybones blog. I use an extra tablespoon of Nutella (just because it feels right) and skip the cinnamon and marshmallows which I replace with a big ole squirt of Redi-Whip. Yum....

The best part of this recipe (besides the obvious big heap of Nutella) is that it all melds together perfectly and doesn't leave any of that icky residue in the bottom of the mug like some recipes do. It's also good with soy milk.

Do you all have big weekend plans? Wow, it feels like I just asked you that yesterday. Was it really a week ago?? I guess a lot of you are planning on watching the Super Bowl? Would you think me unAmerican if I told you that I don't even know who's playing? Yeah, totally out of the loop! I do like that Puppy Bowl thing that they do though. And dip.  Guess what? This year, the cheerleaders at the Puppy Bowl are going to be hedgehogs!! CUTE. Did you see the streaker that they had a few years back? Completely sent me into stitches! I'll post it here in case you didn't: 

Until next time,
x's and o's,