Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Ok, originally, I was going to post a "venting" post about the ill mood I have been in these past two days. I typed it, I posted it, and then I deleted it. It was not kind, or edifying. I will just say that, sometimes, certain people wreck my perfectly happy moods with the things they say, do, or write. Then I go from loving everyone to wanting to "open up a can of bad attitude" all over the place. But I refrained.
Earlier this week I discovered this charming site through my favorite forum, Mary Jane's Farm Farmgirl Connection.
This is Malphi Style, and I was smitten at once! I also enjoyed her blog.
She also has an Etsy store, to make buying her clothes more convenient for us Americans. ( When I went to her website I was trying to convert the prices from English pounds to American dollars. Etsy is better.)
Just look at that adorable parasol, and the "Positively Impractical Feather Duster"! The dresses are available in several colors; and look great over jeans as well. This is a dress you could wear for all seasons.
Bloomers, smocks, aprons, pinafores...... totally "rustic farmgirl".
It is, however, impossible to layer clothing like that in the summertime around here.

There. That was nicer than venting and saying some things I might regret, after all.
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

This weekend's treasures!

What a productive weekend ...... from a collector's standpoint, anyway. I got nothing "done" done, as far as worthy things such as housework, or yard work. Instead I hit a yard sale and then later went and pulled some antique things out of a dumpster with my brothers; yes, siree!
But first, for my "respectable" purchases:
The Women's Club of Milton, NC (my beloved hometown) held a yard and bake sale to raise money for their projects. I was eager to patronize, as usual. They know they can count on me!
I "scored" an antique 1/2 pint blue canning jar, two porcelain and gold tea cups, two lovely vintage hankies, a hand painted coffee cup and saucer, a 1976 Bicentennial dress pattern, and a groovy pair of vintage French sunglasses with rhinestones ($.25 - that's right, twenty-five cents). I got all of this for $5.00! I also bought a delicious lemon pie.
Then I visited one of the local antiques stores and bought a couple pair of vintage earrings and a 1968 monogrammed broach.
Noelle modeled the sunglasses for me, as she has a much more vintage hair do than me. Aren't they a scream??? They're even marked "Swank" :)..... as well as France. The frames are heavy, almost like real mother-of- pearl, and the rhinestones almost look like bits of carnival glass. They make an awesome addition to my collection.
I'll tell more about my brothers and I climbing around in construction site dumpsters later.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My "Shopping Groove" and Fave Stores

I got to thinking about this today.... my "shopping groove." I usually shop exactly the same way, at precisely all the same stores, and buy the same sorts of things. Unless I am looking for a certain, out of the ordinary item, I usually just do my "groove".
For me, there are four primary "types" of shopping: Food shopping, "girl-time" shopping, "shopping with my husband" shopping, and "shopping with mom" shopping.
For example:
When I go shopping for food, I usually go every two weeks: Aldi. I love Aldi. My mom got me hooked. I get almost everything there: veggies, fruits, dairy, juice, condiments, etc.
After going there I cruise into Wal-Mart. I really don't like Wal-Mart much anymore. But I like to get my unbleached flour, bread flour, fresh herbs, specialty cheeses, and things like deodorant, body wash, and pet food there. Last stop in my food acquisition destinations is Food Lion. I like their meat selection and cuts. And, last week, they had my fave salad dressing, Ken's, BOGO for $1.50. Oh, yeah.
Then there's the girl-time shopping - the fun shopping trips! My first stop is usually to pick up my 18-year old "baby" sister, Noelle. We're shopping buds. (You know- "No, that makes your butt look - um - not right." or, "No, that totally does NOT 'go' with your house. It wouldn't even look good sitting on the porch. Don't buy it." or, "Have you tried this flavor of Vitamin Water? It's boss." or, "What are you going to do with that? You're not planning on wearing that, are you?" or "Yeah, yeah, yeah, 'it's vintage'... whatever.") After picking her up, the games begin:
Salvation Army Thrift Store: I scour for vintage clothes, vintage china, vintage furniture.... all things vintage.
Goodwill: Also for vintage "stuff". We also raid their Bookstore - Noelle for political books and biographies of great people, me for vintage children's books, horse books, needle working books, sheet music and music books.
Disabled Veterans Thrift Shop:This place is a antique furniture haven. They always have the coolest treasures. Also great vintage clothes and china.
Marshalls: Can anyone say clothes, shoes, and sales?! Not to mention their gourmet kitchen items, home decor, and linen selection is usually great.
Ross: This is where I go when I need to fulfill that need I get for new dresses. Any small occasion is a great excuse to buy a new dress.
Old Navy: This summer, they have not once had turquoise flip flops in my size when I have been there. Dang. And I want a pair so bad...:(
Hobby Lobby: (Noelle says, with an exasperated sigh: "I'll stay in the car and listen to music...") I always need more needlework supplies, craft supplies, and their garden stuff is amazing, and often 50% off, to boot! Wrought Iron garden decor, anyone???
Leggitt Town and Country: I love this place. It's our feed store, but they also have home decor, tack, and equestrian apparel. This is where I met Kevin, ya'll! I always have to stop here for horse feed, stall shavings, fly spray, chicken food, flea treatment goops for my babies, and of course all the cute Ariat equestrian apparel. (I got the cutest tank tops there last week, with eyelet lace on the necklines....)
Arby's: HE-LLO! Curly fries? Chick-Fil-A: Chicken nuggets, lemon "squash", and brownies from on high. What more can I say?
Other places we sometimes patronize: Tuesday Morning, Payless Shoes, American Eagle, Barnes and Noble, and Ollie's.
Then there is "Shopping with my husband" : Tractor Supply: tractor parts. Who woulda thought that?... and chicks and baby ducks! I go in there just to oogle over them. Home depot: We're always remodeling something around here, and painting. We joke that we keep them in business. My husband cannot stand shopping of any other kind. Though, occasionally, he goes food shopping with me to pick steaks out.
"Shopping with Mom" is usually done on my thrift store route. "This is a good deal, Hosanna. Look at this. That is hard to find anymore. And it's only $10." "Gasp - look at this! My grandmother had one of these in her kitchen. You have to have it. Look, I'll buy it for you. You can't say no." "LOOK at THAT. Just look at that fabric. That is so you. You have to buy it, that's a great deal." "These are on sale! Get them in both colors. You'll regret it if you don't. Trust me, that's the story of my life."

Do YOU have a shopping groove? Do YOU have fave stores? (Not online ones, online shopping doesn't count.) Do YOU have a faveorite shopping buddy?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Too Bad... (or great news? Hee Hee........)

I hate Crocs "shoes." They're not even really shoes. They're gross excuses for footwear. I have never, ever, ever-ever had a pair anywhere near my feet, and never will. To the inventor of Crocs - What were you thinking?! (Or, drinking....)
So it was with great joy and giddy delight that I tuned into a news program the other day and heard about the Crocs company's apparent demise in the bad economy. (Just for the record, I don't personally wish people financial harm. I am sorry about that. But about the "shoe" maybe going bye-bye? NOT SORRY.)
They are: Sloppier than flip flops, if that is possible; impossible to be sexy in any way, shape, or form; apparently dangerous for kids (I remember a story about an escalator eating a kid's pair of Crocs.) ; promote bad posture and carriage; and misrepresent the good name of cute footwear everywhere.
I even found a blog about the dislike of Crocs.
I think the owners of the company should focus their creative genius towards pet prosthetics, therapeutic saddle pads of Dressage and Race Horses, infant car seats, silicone bake wear, rubber stamping supplies, mouse pads, ergonomic garden tools, or anything else.
It is a new day in America! Let's all celebrate! Imagine the prospect of Croc-free life, and go out in support of appropriate, cute footwear choices. Yay!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mary Kay is my latest BFF

I started using Mary Kay years ago when my (then) new Sister-in-law Sherry was selling it. My Mom before me used it...... back when you had to add water to the stuff!
I quit buying it when Sherry stopped selling it, but still used what I had. (The stuff lasts me forever.)
I think Mary Kay is a phase with me, and it's baaaack!
A friend from my horse 4-H group started selling it this year and I am trying out some of their brand-new products.
This is not your typical Mary Kay - they've joined the mineral make-up fad and a lot of their stuff is now mineral based.
Which I love!
Their mineral foundation is light, smooth, comfortable, and looks great. It is only $18 and a little goes a long way, so it's worth it.
Their mineral eyeshadow is great as well and they have new colors. The eye shadow is really light also, smooths on like breeze, and the lasts all day.
I've also love their lip gloss, and last night I bought their brand-new tinted SPF 15 lip balm. So far I love it, too. Sunscreen is really a plus for me with the surgical scars on my mouth. Sun exposure makes the scars really visible so I am always going after anything with sunscreen. (For those of you who don't know, I had some facial surgery following a accident with my horse a few years ago.)
You can see that I still have my old Mary Kay when the containers and compacts were still pink! If I keep them long enough, one day they'll be vintage Mary Kay! Tee hee.
The one complaint that I have with Mary Kay is, they're always changing everything! If you get a shade you love and use a lot, before you know it, it's discontinued.
This time around they kind of made me mad when they changed all the compacts to a new format, so my new stuff doesn't fit in the old compacts, which means I have to buy another stupid compact for all my new stuff. Ticks me off. Oh well. I plan on trying their bronzer next time I order, and maybe try their new mascaras, although usually I despise their mascara.
Well I guess I could have posted a photo of me actually wearing the stuff, but I hate taking my own photos. They did take a photo of me after a facial party I went to, and they use my picture for their "facial" literature now. Yikes..... I've never been so publicly viewed before.

I was trying to take photos when our little "Pun'kin" girl, Splat Baby cat daughter, weaseled her way into my shots. What?! No, she's not spoiled! Huh? No, she hates attention! What would make you think that?! (Scoofs.)
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ah, Girls; look at THIS

I got my new "Hopeless Romantic" Victorian Trading Company clothing catalog in the mail today.
They have some new stuff.....! THIS gown is one of my faves...................

.....and this gown. (Just so you know, their "Vintage Tea Gown" was my wedding dress; except for I got it in ivory, straight from a distributor. I love it. And that is an understatement.)

These aren't so new to the catalog, but they're so stinking cute I might break down and buy a pair - except they're all so gorgeous! How could I choose just one pair?!

And this really cranks my "handbag" tractor. I am a collector of small, cute handbags, and this one is begging to become a member of my collection. I love the vintage look of this, as if someone pulled it straight out of a dusty old trunk, or found it in a case in an antiques store; or crafted it from multiple strands of vintage pearls. *Sigh* Now I have to wring out my paper catalog and drip-dry my keyboard after my drool fest this morning. (And start saving my pennies for some of this stuff.)
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Friday, July 10, 2009

One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, ever

Horse posts are usually reserved for my horse blog, All The Pretty Little Horses, but I had to share this one here.
My friend Jane emailed me these, and I can't stop looking at them. They are so beautiful.

Not only is the newborn foal cute as can be, the mare is just as cute and sweet looking!

This brings tears to my eyes - the raw adoration and love displayed in nature like this.

And this is why I love these animals..... even when I fall off on my head, get bitten, kicked in the face, stomped on....
Even though it is dirty, hard work, and expensive at times, this sort of thing is why I never quit loving and keeping horses.
*Sniff, sniff*. Now, let me go find the kleenex as I sit here and weep...............
(And, dream of having another foal one day soon..........)
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Phil Vassar" Date Night

Kevin and I went to see musician Phil Vassar on July 3 at the Martinsville Speedway for their July 4 Celebration. They have rides for kids, food, music, and fireworks. I'd only ever been to the Danville celebration with the Orchestra (I sang with the Orchestra one year for the July 4th concert, too). It was really fun, even though we sat on uncomfortable bleachers for several hours.
Kev and I

I feel really weird taking photos of myself (ourselves) like this, but I did. Thus the strange look on my face. I mean, how vain, to take your own photo. But I was not about to go up to a stranger and ask them to take a photo.

even more feet

Yes, Kevin goes out in his dusty messed up boots; and yes, I go out in my frumpy Old Navy flip flops. I didn't care; most of the evening it was dark and nobody could see me anyway.

Martinsville Speedway Stage

I got a huge kick out of this guy, who was working on the lights for the stage and showing the whole crowd his rear end. Am I sick for taking a photo of it, or what?

Phil Vassar

I had no idea Phil Vassar could play the piano, let alone do it so well!! He totally rocked.
(When you watch the video below, pause my blog player in the sidebar......)

Phil Vassar

Phil Vassar

Monday, July 6, 2009

Up to my Ears in String Beans!

Kevin and I picked this many string beans.......

Which became this many prepared for canning..........

Which became ten quarts of string beans, as you see here!
I used my new pressure canner, which I was terrified of;
but I did it! Yay! I love sting beans!
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Up my ears in Blackberries!

By July 4 around these parts, the blackberries are ripe, so last week Kevin and I went picking at our horse farm. They grow thick along the fences, creek, woods, and road. It took us a couple of hours to get a few cups. It is such a quaint, old-fashioned thing to do, walking along, stopping at every bush and plunking a few into a container; talking and gossipin' along the way. I always like to take Kevin with me blackberry picking, as his long arms reach the far away ones I can't dream of reaching without falling into the creek in the process!

Then, our very kind landlord brought over three gallons of "tame" berries for me to have fun with! So last week I was making pies, jams, freezing them, puree-ing them, and I even made blackberry lemonade - yummy.

For Independence day this year, we celebrated by going to see Phil Vassar at the Martinsville and more on him later!!
On July 4, I was in the kitchen all day with my string beans, while Kevin cut the oat field for hay. My brother way here to help, and we got it all in before the rains hit on Sunday.

We went to our horse farm for fireworks later that night; the folks who we lease our horse facilities from were giving a party. The horses wer pretty upset that their peaceful evening was inturrupted by noisy fireworks!
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bad News

Kevin left for work this morning, all excited that today was the big day for making the first batch of bio-fuel in the plant he has been building for the commercial sod farm, Super Sod. He was home at lunchtime, and I knew something had gone wrong.
The president of the company pulled the plug on the bio fuel plant....... and Kevin's job. Yep. Fired.
Here's the scoop: last week, one of the board members showed up to do an inspection - walked into the building where Kevin was working on the plant, and was shocked. "What the (Blankety-blank) is that?!" Were his words. As the day unfolded, Kevin came to find out that the manager of this branch of the company- his boss, Mark- had been dishonest with the company "big-cheeses", and they had no idea that a bio fuel plant was being constructed. Mark wrote all the expense of buying the reactor, tanks, truck, etc. etc. ($50,000 worth) as "fuel purchases", not "bio-fuel plant and bio-fuel boy"and conveniently didn't tell Kevin that he was lying to the owners of the company!!!! OMG!!! How totally wrong! Kevin said had he know it, he would not have taken the job.
Anyway so they said, get this darn thing up and running in two weeks and prove to us that is works. Kevin said, "no problem guys!" and was all ready this morning.
When he got to work, Mark told him that they called him last night, and pulled the plug - they freaked out and said get the whole thing out - get rid of it. $50,000 bio fuel plant my husband built!!!!! Oh and while you're at it, get rid of "bio-boy". (Kevin.) How nice is that. Meanwhile, Mark, the liar, gets to keep his $150,000 per year job.
So Kevin gets to work next week, ripping apart all his work, and then he is out of a job he enjoyed. Yeah, the company will pay unemployment; whatever. And, Kevin is in great demand; people are always wanting him to come work for them; he can find work. What GALLS me is that he was lied to, and led on, and then conveniently ditched, and the creep who masterminded the whole thing gets to keep his job and perks! UGH! Injustice. *sigh*
So, now I have an utterly desolated husband on my hands. "I've only been fired one other time in my whole life," he said to me. Then, "Now I can finally get the hay done........"
We have been discussing our own business for a few months; building a shop and having him do tractor and diesel truck repair here. He can make so much money doing that ....... one place offered him $35/hr for repairing diesel trucks. Kevin used to work for International Harvester Tractor Company, so he knows tractors. So we're thinking about plunging ahead and doing it.
I also decided today that in light of all that has happened, I have to stop procrastinating and get my Etsy shop going!
Well, I guess I vented on you all; sorry about that. I will keep everyone updated on the nasty details. It may be un-Christlike of me, and I will have to repent, but I am hoping that the lying boss gets sacked as well. Then Kevin can apply for his cushy job. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Then we can save money and buy a farm in North Carolina!! Yee-Haw!!