Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a Silly Thing



I bought this today, on my inventory shopping trip. It is ridiculous, yet charming and irresistible.

It's so..... pink. And flowery. Like a cupcake from The Cupcake Cafe. Like wearing the cupcake directly on your head.


Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Dilemma

Shopping Season is upon us. And here is the dilemma:
(Although, by definition, this isn't an actual dilemma, to be honest. Just a problem.)

December - Christmas
January - Kevin's Birthday
February - Valentine's Day
March - My birthday
April - Our Anniversary

Gift giving for us gets problematic fast. When we were first together and in our first year of being married, it was OK. Now, after just (going on) three years, I find myself wondering, for the first time, what in the heck to buy my DH for the next five months of gift giving occasions.

That, and I know he can never figure out what to give me..... because I don't know what I want to begin with.

I guess it's because we're very content people. Content and quite satisfied with what we have.

Which, if you ask me, is a good thing.

So what do I buy the Man who seriously has everything?

We don't rush out to get every latest electric gadget; and are satisfied with our old cell phones and computers (I did buy myself a new desktop this summer, because I had to have the extra storage space for all my Etsy photos, etc.). And we're more than happy with our ONE TV and DVD player only. So buying electronics for him is out. No Wiis, no I pads, etc. (But maybe a GPS......?)

He was a contractor at one time so he has two or three of every power tool imaginable, and a fancy enclosed trailer to haul them around in.

He did diesel wrenching for a long time so he has every automotive tool there is to buy, and a tool box the size of a small pick up truck to stash them in. So no tools.

He has all manner of guns for his favorite hobby - hunting; and a pretty gun cabinet with a etched glass door to lock them in. He has multiple fancy hunting knives and fancy tooled sheaths to stick them in, and every other hunting accessory money can buy. But I have been wanting one of those huge safes for the guns/ammo - the safes that cost around $5,000. The problem is the $5,000. I don't have it. Dang.

His other hobby is horseback riding - and our horses lack for nothing, so there is nothing to buy him for horseback riding, either.

His other love is tractors. And he has two boxes full of those little die cast scale model replicas stashed away in the closet. So I am NOT buying more scale replica tractors and combines and trucks and things just for the sake of Holiday gift giving.

I thought I would buy him a nice wrist watch; until he professed his utter hatred of them; and lectured about how they "got in his way" and how he can "look at the clock on his cell phone for the time just as well"....... oh well. No wristwatch.

So I am stuck with clothes, CDs, DVDs, and maybe a nice bottle of some fancy Adult Beverage.


What am I going to do for the next 100 five-months in a row gift giving seasons?! We're only three years in...........................

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Delicious Thanksgiving Memories

Okay, so I mentioned some really ethically important Thanksgiving memories in my last post; this time around will be much more delicious.

Our family's traditional Thanksgiving meal is more of the old fashioned "yankee" variety - despite our Southern home.

The thing is, my Mom is a Northern (Yankee) transplant, and my Dad is from the Deep South (Louisiana.)
I was born and raised in North Carolina, and consider myself a true Southerner - but it is my Mom's "yankee" heritage that is the foundation of our Thanksgiving meal in the Joubert/Pennell household.

Thanksgiving day always began with Mom's homemade doughnuts. Her delicious cake doughnut dough, lightly spiced and with a tinge of orange flavor, is deep fried in oil and then tossed in confectioner's sugar. They don't hang around long, because after my Dad is done putting a sizeable dent in the pile, my brothers usually finish them off.
Even after I got married and moved away, I still make Mom's doughnuts for Thanksgiving and Christmas; and my sisters and brothers still ask for them.

Our family usually has our dinner in the evening; after the guys get done with the hunting for the day.
(I am sorry if readers are offended by hunting - I realize some don't agree with hunting wild game. However, it is something my family has done forever - and we eat the harvest. I don't mean to offend!)

For years, when I was still living at home, my sister Naomi and I would go for a trail ride with our Dad while Mom watched over the turkey. Usually the weather was nice enough for us to saddle up and ride for a couple of hours before dinner.
We haven't done a Thanksgiving trail ride in a few years, though.

Ok, so here is our Thanksgiving menu in my family - year after year:

Turkey, and turkey gravy. (Gravy usually prepared by my brother Eli.)
Mom's bread stuffing (Not stuffed in the turkey, though. Yuk.)
Green Bean cassarole (Yeah, I know - not the most original, but a favorite nonetheless.)
Grandma's Waldorf salad (or, as my brothers like to say - "Waldork" salad)
Green Jello salad (Something I did several years ago, and it stuck)
Cranberry sauce and Mom's cranberry and orange relish
Mashed Potatoes.... made by my sister Noelle, who is ultra picky about how they're prepared.)
Pumpkin pie (Read the hilarious story about my pumpkin pie episode from last year HERE)
Pecan pie
Chocolate Pecan Pie (Introduced when my brother Eli married Sherry and she's been forced to bring it to Thanksgiving ever since!)
Pumpkin roll - (although, this is usually eaten for lunch and doesn't survive till suppertime. :))

What are your family's signature dishes at the Thanksgiving table? I'd love to hear about them!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Memories........

As I was painting the windowsill in my kitchen in preparation for the big dinner here on Thursday, I was reflecting on Thanksgiving memories from my childhood....


One of the things I remember most is that we always invited one or more people to dinner that didn't have family nearby to spend the Holiday with. I'm sure at one point or another, we'd ask "why" we did that.... to which I am sure my parents replied that we did it to share our good fortune and feast of food with others who would otherwise be alone on Thanksgiving eating a TV dinner. I know they must have explained this, because as a child, I remember understanding it.

I remember my mother reading us a little book called the "Pilgrim's Primer" about the true story of "Thanksgiving", and Squanto, and how the First Americans saved the pilgrim group from starvation by instructing them about planting crops and hunting wild game.
And, how the first Thanksgiving lasted three days; and how they feasted on Turkeys, Deer, and seafood from the harbor, in addition to the corn and squash they had harvested.

I also remember putting on a little play about it with my sisters and brother, and a couple of the kids that came with their parents for dinner one year - complete with costumes.

These things make me very appreciative of my parents, and how they instilled in us an understanding of American History and tradition, as well as the spirit of giving to your fellow man, by demonstration - inviting a "stranger" into our home and extending to them our food and family atmosphere.
AND, the creativity it took for us to create a little "play" - thanks to my parents who always encouraged and pushed us to use our imaginations and creativity by making us read books and watch less TV.

I know, these are not the usual Norman Rockwell style Thanksgiving memories that conjure up visions of feast laden tables and Mom bringing in the glorious, golden brown turkey to a chorus of "Ooohs" and "Aaaahs".

I'll discuss THOSE memories later!

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my parents, who taught us by their example - not just their words - that it is a good thing to reach out to those alone or in need.
And just as important, that they taught us the importance of American History, and the history behind the holiday. We didn't just eat a big dinner to eat a big dinner - there was a reason we had the big dinner: to give thanks as a Nation, to God, for all of our many, many blessings. This is one of many examples of my parents, and Grandparents, teaching us how to be a model American Citizen and realize how lucky we are to live in freedom in this country.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting Ready

So for the past week or two(as I briefly mentioned in an earlier post), I have been purging my home of excess stuff.

I suppose I should mention that I was partly inspired to do this by some news stories I had seen about people "downsizing" and living their life with less stuff.
Some people the news stories highlighted actually went one full month wearing only 6-8 items of clothing - washing them, of course, and finding new ways to pair the items for different looks.

While I am not inclined to go that far, I was convicted by the stories on how this country is obsessed with "stuff".

That, and the fact that I could not get past the doorway in my storage room.

So I took several truckloads of stuff to the donation boxes. And several more loads of things to my shop. Several boxes of things were photographed and put up for auction on eBay. Some of you friends of mine may receive surprise packages in the mail. I have gone through every box, bag, pile, closet, shelf, and dark corner of this house and threw out every single thing I knew I would never use, didn't need, or didn't like anymore.
I cleaned out my pen holder, even.

I feel liberated.... I feel back in control of my things and my collecting habit.
I have never been forced to confront my stuff - I have never had to move far away, or to a smaller house. So for three years, I've just accumulated.

Another reason I had to do this is because I am hosting my whole family for Thanksgiving diner again this year. Because we have a huge yard/farm for roaming, and because I have more space in my house with just 2 of us living here, it makes more sense to fit 25+ people in here for the big day.

So now that the junk is out, I get to clean for the next two days. Then bake and set up on Wednesday.

I LOVE Thanksgiving! And this year, I am thankful for having less junk in my house, and thankful that I got the courage to let stuff go. :)

(PS - I just did a spell check on this post and there were NO MISSPELLINGS found! I am so proud of myself. :) )

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Vintage Notions"

I never heard of Amy Barickman, or Indygo Junction, or The Vintage Workshop before this morning.

I was pouring over the new Victorian Trading Co. Holiday catalog (OMG!) and saw this book.


I Googled it and it's author, Amy Barickman and was delighted at what I found out.

I am very motivated and inspired by ladies like Any that are small-town girls, moms, etc. who make lovely things, collect lovely things, and make successful businesses doing what they love!

Her mom sounds like my mom - infecting me with the collecting bug and taking me to yard sales, flea markets, etc. from a young age; picking up lovely vintage finds.

Needless to say, I am doing a lot of catch up on her lovely blog and website, and am ordering the book.

I haven't seen the book yet, of course, but from the video and sample pages I have looked at, it looks great!

Go thou, and see for thyself.

Y'all have a great day and come back now, 'hear?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Keeper

I bought this dress recently at one of my favorite charity shops...

I was stunned at the condition of this dress; it looks brand new.




It's a 1950's - early 60's day dress in purple plaid; with ric rac trim and big buttons. It's a classic.

Initially I was planning on selling it but now I think I am going to keep it; as it fits me, and I don't have a lot of vintage day dresses that actually fit me. People were miniature 60 years ago; I think.

A little hat, a pair of wrist gloves, and maybe a light cardigan sweater, and I'd feel like I was in the Andy Griffith show. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Collecting vs. Hoarding

I know that coming from a self-professed collector, this is going to sound really really weird.

I have been trying to find a balance between being a "collector" and a hoarder. Collecting runs in my blood; I get it honestly from my Mom. *waves at mom*
I buy things on an almost bi-weekly basis - yard sales, auctions, antique stores, thrift shops, estate sales, craigs list, ebay, etsy, etc. etc.

I use less than half. Of course much of it is inventory; but a good percentage goes right into a box and into my storage room.

When I went into my storage room last week and could not even get beyond the door, I knew I had to do something.

A box lot of vintage gloves, belts, scarves, hankys, etc. I purchased at an antique auction for $3.

Much of it has gone out of the house and straight to my shop. But it's not just those things - it's everything else, too.

So I decided I have to pear it down, and this time I am serious. Of course, you should not get rid of things like:

- Gifts
- Memories
- Family relics

But if I don't love it, use it, need it; and if it is not any of the things listed above, I am probably going to toss it.

Too many shoes, coats, bags, crinolines, china, silverware, beer mugs, lamp shades, out dated home decor I will never use because it is not vintage - bye bye.

My table, as I sort through my things for the shop and record them in my inventory book.

I still have a set of towels that were wedding gifts, and we've never used them. WHAT?! Seriously?

I am tired of loosing things in my stash and having to dig through boxes to find them.

And I know I inherited Grandma's sewing stuff - all 8 huge plastic tubs of it - but I am going to have to surmount my guilt and toss the purple stretch velour fabric. I know I will never use it. Sorry, Gramma.

And I am sick - sick to DEATH - of those two curtain stretching frames. Grrrrrr

Anyone want a vintage curtain stretching frame? You can HAVE it.

Yep. Too many hats.