Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meet Our New Puppy.




When I lost my old dog, Sebastian, last November, I thought I was done with dogs for awhile - I never thought less than a year later, I'd be a dog owner again!
But, things transpired in our lives and we have been blessed - yes, blessed! - with a new best friend.

The above pictured doggie, our 7 week old yellow lab; who we have named........


We didn't want him to be a "girly dog", so we wanted to give him a good "manly" name; a sturdy, American, tough-dog name. After all, he is going to be a farming, hunting, outdoor-everything companion dog; even though for the moment, he is just a lovable little cream puff.

(My husband and I are unable to have natural children; however, we do plan on trying to adopt a child, or an embryo, at some point when the timing is right. So in the meantime, we satisfy our drive to love children and have a family by obtaining pets.
I shutter to think of what our child will be named, when we have a child, considering our track record on naming our "fur babies": Brutus, Cosette, Phileppe, Sebastian, Splat, Spook, and now - Dodge.)

Our first 24 hours with Dodge went something like this:

"You may not chew on Mommy's antique chair legs, dear. Nor the table. The rug is a no-no also, bud. Now stop that, we don't chew on Mommy's riding boots. These are your toys; you may chew those to bits if you like. Don't bark at Spook. Pee-pee outside. Don't run after Phileppe or he is going to......!.....whack you upside the head, just like that. I'm sorry. What a mean old kitty." Etc. Etc.

But I don't mind. He is such a obedient, compliant, laid back, easy going kid.

I love this cuddly puppy stage.....and I'm going to enjoy it while I can, before he grows into a big, strapping, "manly" man's dog, and returns from romps in the woods with Kevin, covered in pond slime and bird feathers.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Antique Shop Vinatge Hats

Here are some of the hats I bought from the antique shop last weekend. It was so hard to choose, but these were the winners. (I'll probably go back for more later.)

"Snow White Queen"

100% real white fur. Buy it HERE.


I loved this one, even with the moth damage to the wool felt. The Magenta color is stunning. I had to replace the original feather, however; and put this peacock feather combo on it. I'll be listing this in my Etsy shop soon. It is in an unusual bigger size, also - not the typical tiny size most vintage hats come in.


Ivory wool felt Jane Austen "bonnet" style.


Brown wool felt and satin. In exquisite condition, like it was never worn.

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The sign on my wall says: "I am the most responsible person in this establishment. Whenever anything goes wrong, I'm responsible."

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Official


We took her to the vet on Saturday morning for all of the shots, worming, fleas/earmites, and spay date.

A trip to the vet's = staying for good.

Thank GOD for a husband who loves poor little abandoned kittys as much as I do. He is the one who picked out her name.... "Spook"!

This makes five cats for us.

Welcome to the zoo, Spook.
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PS - you can kind of see a scar on her neck in this photo.... her neck is all chewed up. We're not sure if she was bitten by the dogs where I found her, or if it is from scratching so much at the fleas.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Girl Can Dream, Part 2

I went to the antique shop, and as I thought, not five minutes went by before one of the owners, who was keeping shop, inquired about my Mother.

I guess it is a country, or a Southern thing - ? Whenever I see any of the locals, they greet me this way:

"Haaaaay there! How have you been, honey? How is your Mother?"

Anyway, back to my local Antique store quest: She asked me how my mother was; and how she was doing since my Grandmother's death a few months ago; how was she holding up and all.

I, of course, respond by reporting that my mother is doing wonderfully, and doesn't know what to do with herself these days after caring for my Grandma 24 hrs. a day for so long.

Other pleasantries ensued: How are my horses; it sure has been warm lately; I haven't seen you in here for a while; etc. etc.

Then I descended upon the hats like a swarm of locusts. I looked at about six displayed on a dresser. I looked at two or three more perched on a chair.

Four more were in the back on an old desk. Cute, but not stunning, and very reasonably priced. Then she directed me to a PILE of hatboxes ..... each containing three or four stunning, exquisite hats.

I was reduced to a blob of jelly as each and every hatbox lid I removed revealed more and more beautiful and unique hats within the tissue clouds.

I chose four. Then I chose another. Then I changed my mind. Then I finally decided on three of the best and oldest. Then I changed my mind again and couldn't remember which box held the other one I wanted. So I had to go through them all again.... darn. There were about 40 hats or more to go through. *sigh*

Finally, I chose three - (for the time being -) a white wool Jane Austen Style bonnet for my own collection, and two for my Etsy shop - a stunning purple one with a feather, and a dainty little black straw and velvet number in perfect condition from the late 30's or early 40s, the shop lady informed me. I will have pics soon.

She even gave me a discount, for being local, and for the excellent conversation I offered during my visit. :) (Not really. It's just that I am local, and she knew my Grandma, and all. )

Before departing, I casually inquired about the next door shop..... and wouldn't you know, it has been rented already, by a member of the Town Council. He is doing absolutely nothing with it, but as soon as it was empty, he pounced on it, just to get it before someone else did. This is how small towns operate..... it's just the way it is. So, Jack, another town council member, who serves with me on the Historical Preservation and Beautification Society Board of Directors- and who happened to be in the store while I was there, and who is the brother of one of the owners - suggested I ask the guy about the shop. But, I doubt I would be allowed the front rooms with the windows, as he is rumored to be putting some antique furniture in there to sell, and he'd want that window space for his items. Understandably.

So.... my brick and mortar shop dream is on hold again; which is fine with me; as I really don't have the numbers in my business yet to be thinking about opening a shop shop.

And I think I will go back tomorrow and buy some more hats - because when I showed my husband what I bought, and told what I spent, he said, innocently:

"Is that all?"

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Girl Can Dream, Right?!

So my ultimate dream ..... my pie in the sky impossible dream..... is to have my own vintage clothing/haberdashery/"farm girl" antiques shop. Not an Etsy shop..... an actual, real life, "Brick and Mortar" shop shop.

I have wanted to do this ever since I started working at an antiques shop as a teenager and collecting things.

But, the expense of running such a shop is outrageous. And all the ladies I know who own and run such shops in my little, quaint historic hometown in NC are wealthy older retired ladies with more money than they know what to do with.

There is the lease, electricity, insurance, taxes, getting a business licence, opening a business account, getting together enough inventory, getting display shelves and cases together, etc. etc.

I figure one of these days I'll be one of those older, retired ladies with more money than I know what do do with (If I play my cards right) and then in that happy carefree day I too will be the owner of a quaint dusty antiques shop. With a shop cat, of course. :)

Here is the thing eating at me today, though.... one of the antiques shops in my little, quaint, historic town in NC packed up and left. Leaving their space empty and dark.


It's in this row of Victorian store fronts referred to locally as "The Shoppes Of Milton".
It is the green and cream colored one. Behind the "Open" banner.

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Next door to the ultra cute Milton Antique Mall.


Anyway, there is the perfect room in the front portion of this now empty building for a shop such as the one in my dream..... not too big; not too small. Perfect.
With wide pine board floors polished smooth from over 100 years of customer traffic.

With tall windows created just for display and window shopping passers-by.

With double front doors with the original Victorian doorhandles. Perfect for attaching a cute shop keeper's bell.

With a door leading into the Antique Mall next door.


I am dying to find out if they'd let me do it; and for how much..... the owner is an old friend of my Grandma's, and my Mom's; and has watched me grow up from the time I was a wee girl. I used to feed her cats and fish when she went out of town.

So. It may all come to nothing, but this weekend I plan on going up there to the Milton Antique mall. I plan on buying out her stash of vintage hats my mother warned me about. And I plan on reminiscing about my Grandmother and the good old days; and I plan on very casually inquiring about rent on the front room of the building next door.

And here is how it is going to end:

"Why, yes! What a perfectly lovely idea! Your mother told me you were selling lovely old things on the computer, when I saw her at the Post Office the other day. How interesting. Yes, I believe you may rent that room for..... oh, say $100 per month? Yes! Here is a key. You may move your things in starting tomorrow. No, don't pay me now.... wait till next week. You can use all those old display things in the back. I believe I have some old dress forms in my basement; could you use those? And I have piles of old clothes and hats you may try to sell also, if you like. Can you work some of the rent off by keeping my store once in a while? Oh, wonderful! I can't wait. We are so looking forward to having you here! I will call the paper and send them down to do a story on our new shop keeper. Welcome!"

Yup. Crossing my fingers. But not getting my hopes too high.....

Sunday, August 15, 2010



As I was walking in the evening last week (as I often do), I was struck with how much I love this time of day....

My Dad loves the morning. He likes to get up early and have a period of peace and quiet to prepare for the day. He says it is peaceful.........but to me, mornings are busy, hectic, full of energy and buzzing with anticipation of the day head.

The evening, however. For me, the evening is calm. Peaceful. The universe is winding down. Relaxing. Mellowing out.

So at dusk, after a delicious, home made, satisfying meal, I walk. I like to enjoy silence. I like the face that I cannot hear traffic on the highway. Instead, I hear insects and birds; perhaps the great horned owl that lives in our woods will have something to say.

In the summer, I relish the cooling temperature. I pause to take in the sky; sit in the grass and breathe that amazing farm air.

Often I am joined by my kitty cats; and of course my husband and bestest buddy in the whole world. Sometimes we say nothing at all; sometimes we have some casual, low conversation. We don't want to scare the wildlife. Sometimes we see a doe and her fawn. Sometimes we see the wood ducks and their little chicks floating silently on the pond. Once, I watched for a few minutes as a raccoon climbed into a hole in the side of a hollow tree and disappeared. I like to see my flock of hens going into their coop and settling in for the evening.

I love to see my cottage farm house through the woods; with the lamp light in the windows; and the front porch light. It is just so....cozy. Especially in the cold months. The glow of the windows through the woods promises warm wood heat coziness at the end of an evening stroll.

Evening is my favorite time to ride my horses as well.....I love to bathe them after a ride and turn them out and linger for a while, watching them as then meander out to the pasture, nibbling grass along the way, as the sun sets and the insects sing and a satisfying sense of deep fulfillment, peace, and calm fills me and makes me want to sit there forever, watching my horses graze in the dim light.

Sometimes, I don't even walk - we just sit on the porch and take it in; or sit on the patio. Or, I plop right down in a patch of lovely grass and just lay there in it for a while.

If you have never tried it, do. It is great for relieving stress and relaxing after a rotten day of work.

Have a good one....
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Meet "Spook"... and a couple of other things

Well, I've done it again.

Another poor, neglected, abandoned, hungry, pitiful, whimpering kitten has found it's way into my life, my heart, my truck, and finally into my house.....

So, I had seen this poor little kitty, on the porch rail of this run-down house I pass by to feed my friend's horses at her farm. Trash in the yard, shady-looking tenants, and 2 rough, loud and mean-looking pit bulls discouraged me from getting out of my truck and investigating.

Last week, the people were gone.... leaving the dogs, the cat, the trash all over the yard, a refrigerator on the porch, and the poor kitty. Still, as I would drive by, the pit bulls would be running next to my truck, barking ferociously, and I would look on to the porch rail, where the little kitty would be perched, trying to keep safely away from the mean dogs.

Yesterday I pulled up, and the kitten was sitting in the middle of the dirt road.... the dogs were gone, no one was around.... so I was compelled.

I leaped out of my truck, and held out my hands to the poor kitty. "Here, Kitty," I said. It came to me, crying. I picked it up; and noted how thin she was.... luckily I had a kennel in the back of my truck I had just picked up from my parent's house for our new puppy due to come home in 2 weeks. I put her in, fed the horses, and took her home right away.


Notice she is all white, with a blue eye and an amber eye. She is at least 12 weeks old. She has fleas, and ear mites, and is about half starved. Plus she has a nasty sore on her neck; either from scratching fleas, or from where she may have been manhandled by the dogs. I don't know.

So I called my vet's office immediately, and wouldn't you know he is on vacation till the 18th.... grrrr. Oh well, I guess even vets need a little time away.


So we decided to keep her and "look for another person to take her", but it's only day 2, and I am getting more and more attached by the moment.
We have to keep here confined to the kitchen until I can get her to the vet; b/c of the risk of fleas getting all over the house, and because she could infect all the other cats with ear mites.
In the kitchen I can clean and disinfect things every day.

I already have her litter-box trained, and she already knows what it is when I open the fridge. She is weaseling her way into my heart and I don't know if I can give her up.

We are thinking of calling her "Spook".

Anyways........... on to the other things -

It's AMA Super Bike weekend at the Virginia International Raceway not 5 miles from my house here in Alton,VA. They have this race they call the "Big Kahuna".

ESPN and other TV networks, as well as somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 fans go to this race over at the track not 5 miles from my house. There are TWO ways to get to the track.... the 2 lane highway going past my front door, and the 2 lane highway going through my home town 7 miles up the road where my parents live, where we keep our horses, and where I still spend a lot of time. All 25,000 - 30,000 fans drive by my house or by my horse farm to get to this "Big Kahuna" race.
The TV equipment scrambles our TV, radio, and often, my Internet signal. They have helicopters flying around for the aerial shots. The gas stations run out of gas, snacks and drinks leaving nothing for us locals. The traffic is insane..... madness. I hate it. So I just wanted to let y'all know that.

Also. My little sis Noelle and I have been watching the BBC version of Bleak House. I love it. It is one of my faves now. Check it out. I got it through my Netflix. :)

Well, it is off to the kitchen with me, to clean Spook's litter box. Also wash dishes. And mow the grass. And weed the flower bed. And get the mail. And.... well, you get the drift.

Have a wonderful day........

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pink, Ruffles, Lace, and Bows - Oh My.

Well hello there!

I haven't been around much lately, I know.


I am usually a person who loves summer, and hot weather, and spend most of it running around barefoot, in as little clothing as I can get away with while still being modestly attired, BUT.....

I have had enough of the heat already! around 100 degrees almost every day for almost the entire summer is just TOO MUCH.

So I have been looking forward to fall, and dreaming about Christmas; and I have started getting all my fall/winter Etsy items together; I am so excited! I have so much new stuff coming. Yay.

But before all of that, I have recently added some romantic, lovely little items that I was lucky enough to uncover.


This hat reminded me of My Fair Lady for some reason, so I call it that. It is real straw; from around the late 1940's ish. Buy it here.

I found this on a Children's clothing rack at a local thrift shop.... it is actuall y a ladies sized mini dress in a lovely shade of dusty rose. Puurdy.

Buy it here.

Buy it here.

Buy it here.

Each of these are gowns that were gift boxed and the recipient never wore them. Probably cast offs from a bridal shower? That's what I like to think; and after 50 years, she finally allowed herself to donate them, because maybe her friends forgot all about it. :D The pink one has a sweet bed jacket that goes with it. With tags.

Look for them all in my Etsy shop soon - if not already.

And stay cool. I find lots and lots of sweet iced tea and ice cream works well.

Onward to fall!