When I was a little girl, my Aunt Gloria had chalkware fish on her bathroom wall. And I loved them. Since I've gotten really interested in all things vintage, especially things from the 60's and 70's, I've tried to find some. I have not seen ONE at all the estate sales and thrift stores we've been to and the folks who sell 'em on eBay and Etsy want way too much for them. I recently joined a vintage lovers' Facebook page that I absolutely LOVE and last week, one of the ladies was selling a chalkware fish! For cheap! Free shipping! I jumped all over it. I got her yesterday. And named her Gloria. I just love her.
There was a fabulous estate sale in town this weekend! I went three times! I was third in line Thursday morning when it started and I got some stuff, I took Larry back yesterday and we got some stuff and then I went back this afternoon when what was left was half off and I got some stuff. Christmas presents and resale, mostly, and the stuff I got for us we'll use and I got some great deals. This sale was in a ritzy neighborhood, huge house, tons of stuff and nothing in that house came from Target, I'll just say that. Last night, I realized that I knew the lady who lived there from my other life at the doctor's office. It made me even sadder to know that. She passed away in February from cancer at the very young age of 63. She was just getting to enjoy her grandbabies. I remember her so well. And "bubbly" is the word I would use to describe her. She was always so sweet, so happy, with a big old smile on her face and always dressed like she walked right out of a magazine. They had money and she spent it. Ha! Her husband, not being able to live in that house anymore without her, moved and the house and its contents are being liquidated and sold.
Anyway, yesterday, we got Larry some winter clothes (Eddie Bauer and American Eagle flannel shirts for $3 and practically new work pants and jeans). I took the tags off them and made a pile on the floor to get them ready to wash and Tabbie Hoffman pretty much lost his mind over 'em. :) He would not get off them! I got a couple of flower pots and some little stuff. I wanted to get the other two pom pom pillows to go with the yellow one I got Thursday but since everything was going to be half off today, I waited and got them this afternoon. There were 300 people there this afternoon! I was #17 at 12:30. By 1:00, there were 100 people in line. It was crazy!! I waited in line an hour to pay and when I left, people were parking two streets over and walking. IN. SANE.
Yesterday before we went to that sale, Larry and I stopped at a little church fundraiser and I got this set of vintage salt and pepper shakers. A sweet little Amish couple! They're not really fall-ish but I still put 'em on my tea cart.
Then we drove out to Jeffersonville to an estate sale at this old rundown farmhouse that I've seen for years and years on the way to Savannah or the beach. I've always wanted to see it!! And yesterday, I got the chance! Y'all know this house, don't you?? It's on Highway 96 on the way to I-16 to go to the beach!
Here's the orange juice pitcher! $2.50!
It's been closed up with no electricity or water for fourteen years. And surprisingly, it's in pretty good shape inside. It has the most beautiful wooden beams and bead board all throughout! I wanted some of that wood most of all. Since there is no electricity, the listing told us to bring a flashlight and we did. Larry found us an afghan to go on our $5 yellow floral sofa and I got a 1970's orange juice pitcher. And we got a beautiful Egyptian rug for FREE just because it had been on the porch and was wet from the rain. I put it on the deck and shampooed that thing twice yesterday and as soon as we get enough sun to dry it completely, it's coming in the house! Here's Tabbie Hoffman laying on the afghan and the now THREE pom pom pillows!
Today, back at the big house estate sale, I picked up two pairs of yoga pants with the tags still on them for $2 each, pajamas, brand new baby boy burp cloths for our great-nephew who'll be here at Christmas, a giant plush throw pillow and two adorable glass Christmas ornaments (one is a Christmas tree and the other is this super cute Santa hot air balloon one!
And here's the reason I went back today. To get this old braided rug for our porch. It was $30 but I said if it's meant to be, it'll still be there today for $15. And it was! I just love it!
Here's my fall tea cart so far! I love how it's come together. That little sign says, "Let's Get Stuffed!". Ha!
I have been collecting frames for a while, at estate sales and yard sales and antique stores, and this week, I started framing some of my favorite family photos!
That one in the middle is one of our favorites of Larry's mama, Corrine. What a big smile! We miss her so.
I framed a couple more wedding photos (Steve (Larry's brother) and his beautiful bride, Pia and my mama and daddy) to go along with ours and Juan and Rhiana's. I still have a few more to add!
I've always loved this one of Larry's brother and sister, Steve and Debi.
My Grandma and Paw and Maw when they were all just kids.
Thanks to Rhiana, we have this photo of Larry's Grandma Grace when she was 16. There is family resemblance all in her beautiful face!
And my absolute favorite! Another one we got from Rhiana. My baby when he was a baby with his mama, older sister and baby brother.
Family photos are so precious to me. As long as we have photos and especially when they are framed and a part of our every day life, then Grandma, Maw, Paw, Grandma Grace, Mama (Corrine) and Steve are still with us. That makes me happy.
Larry brought home a pitiful, filthy little homemade Cabbage Patch doll to me today that he found while cleaning out a storage area at work. He was told he could have anything in there that he wanted (that's where the insulators came from). I loved her instantly, named her Hattie and immediately set about giving her a bath (in a king-size pillowcase tied in a knot and thrown in the washing machine on the gentle cycle) and getting her fixed up.
She had a lot of smoke damage, soot and dirt on her face from the fire that almost destroyed the building but all that washed away! I threw away the dress she was wearing, the ribbons in her hair and the Pamper on her butt and made her our baby with a tie-dyed t-shirt and cloth diaper. :)
Welcome to the family, Hattie! We're so happy you're here!
I haven't really made it a secret how much I LOVE all things vintage. My obsession started with a few pretty pillowcases and then I added some Pyrex and now I'm just into anything from the 50's, 60's or 70's. My plan is to replace most of our house with something vintage (and better!). I'm a lucky girl that my husband shares my style. We have collected dishes, glasses, coffee cups, bed linens, tablecloths, curtains, towels & wash cloths (good old made in America Cannon and Fieldcrest!), clocks, what-nots, just all kinds of things. I get absolutely giddy at estate sales when I raid the linen closets! Y'all. Words can't even express how much I love this 1960's yellow floral sofa I got last week for five dollars!!! We brought it home today and instead of hiding it in the office, it's sitting center stage in our living room!! It's perfect. It looks like it's been under plastic for 40 years. I still can't believe they let me have it for five dollars. It's Happy Hour and if you're local and love thrifting, go see what they have. Happy Hour is a non-profit that trains, hires and loves on people with disabilities. They provide an awesome service to Houston County and our surrounding communities. Larry and I just love 'em. They have a thrift store on Davis Drive in Warner Robins but you have to drive around to the back. And they're not open all the time so call and check their schedule. They've changed for fall and winter. Anyhoo, look at my sofa!!!
Nosey Rosie had to be first! The cushions on the back are a little threadbare in spots but that is to be expected for a 50-year old sofa! I'm almost 50 myself. Just as threadbare as I can be. A cool little vintage blanket or afghan thrown over the back and no one will be the wiser. Except for you. Ha!
I love our little 60's corner! Sofa, an end table we picked up at an estate sale, yellow rotary phone and depression glass ashtray (that we were using to hold coasters 'cause we don't smoke!)!!
I have wanted to go be in President Carter's Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church for as long as I can remember, for as long as I've known it existed, really. For one reason or another, I just never went. In light of the recent health issues he's had and his progressing age, I decided I'd better go NOW. I encourage anybody reading this blog to go, too. Soon. If you want to hear him share God's word in a way that only he can and get your picture made with him and Miss Rosalynn (and that's pronounced ROSALYN not ROZLYN, in case you didn't know), you better try to go in the next coming weeks. His Sunday School schedule is posted at the church's website. September 13 and 27 and then October 4, 18 and 25. Those are all of the dates posted right now. He told us that he is undergoing immunotherapy treatment and with cancer, you just never know when he'll feel up to it. He LOVES it, though. He LOVES us and wants to do this for us. He's quite a remarkable man. But we already knew that.
So. To help the church handle the crowds that are coming, the church came up with a plan. Beginning this week, they started giving out seating arrangement tickets to ensure folks get in. Or at least the first 400 folks. Larry and I drove down there Saturday to be at the church at 1:00 to try to be two of those 400 folks. We arrived a little after 12:00 to find the parking lot of the small gas station next door to the church absolutely packed. They wouldn't let you on the church property until 1:00 sharp. There was already a numbering plan in place to line up to go onto the church property and Larry and I were able to get number 70 for our truck. Now when you have that many people in one place, things start to get a little sticky. I'll just say it was organized chaos and leave it at that. Everybody was desperate to get a ticket. While we waited, we got somebody to snap this picture of us with Jimmy The Peanut, something you pretty much HAVE to do when you're in Plains. Cheesy, maybe. Historic, absolutely. We were all over it. :)
We all lined up best we could and drove onto the church property. Now that was organized! You never even left your vehicle. You drove up to a man (who we now know is George Williams) and he gives you a ticket for every person in your car and then you drive around the church and back out onto the road. Easy peasy. We got numbers 69 and 70! We were so excited!!
We left there and went to the old Plains High School, which now serves as President Carter's main museum and visitors' center. We walked around in there and learned a lot about President Carter that we never knew and were reminded of lots of things that we did. The photos of him and Miss Rosalynn when they were dating and first married made me cry. This Navy photo of him and what he inscribed to her had me squalling. Darling, I love you with all my heart - for all of my life. Jimmy
These are a few of my favorite things from the visitors' center.
This poster. I must have one.
I would totally put this up in our yard. :) There are signs now all over Plains that say "Jimmy Carter for Cancer Survivor". Awesome. His entire family has been cursed by and died from cancer. His daddy, James, Miss Lillian, his sweet mama, his sisters and his brother. Cancer sucks.
These election pins. This is the kind of stuff Larry and I look for at estate sales!
This old schoolroom.
We picked up some goodies in the gift shop. Some cajun peanuts, peanut brittle and post cards. On our way back home, we stopped in Andersonville, went by and visited with Mama and Daddy for a little while and then came home and went to bed early! We had to get up at 4:00 Sunday morning in order to be at the church by 7:00.
We drove down in darkness, getting to Maranatha a little after 6:00. Not knowing what to expect, we wanted to get there early. We lined up in front of the church, by number, just after 7:00.
There was a bunch of us! You can see how the line wraps clean around into the parking lot.
When you go to see President Carter and be part of his Sunday School class, you gotta get through Miss Jan and the Secret Service first! The Secret Service is much nicer. :) "Miss Jan" Williams has been a member of Maranatha Baptist Church since it split from Plains Baptist in 1977. Having been raised a Southern Baptist, I know all about split Baptist churches. Mama, Ami and I were all members of a split split church. Mr. George, the ticket passer-outter, is Miss Jan's husband and all I gotta say about Mr. George is bless his heart. She is a tough old bird but there's a heart of gold underneath all that toughness. And she loves President and Mrs. Carter dearly. She protects them like a mama bear protects her cubs. Miss Jan comes out of the church about 7:30 barking orders -- no bags, no purses, nothing but your camera or phone, your keys and your money if you're tithing. That's it. Then she proceeds to line us all up like second-graders and that was more than a little off-putting but she's been doing this a long, long time so if you decide to go on your own or because of something you read here, just remember that. Go easy on her. Smile at her. Thank her.
Don't take pictures of the Secret Service OR Miss Jan unless she tells you you can. I took a few before she told us. :) This guy, Dan, looks SO MUCH like Anderson Cooper. He was super sweet, down-to-earth and friendly. They work shifts so Dan may not be there when you go. They're all pretty nice, though. You place everything you own on a table and while one Secret Service guy looks at your camera and stuff, another guy wands you. You clear, pick up your stuff and walk into the church. Just like any other Sunday morning, right?? :) Just listen to Miss Jan and you'll be just fine. You think I'm joking, don't you? I'm warning you is what I'm doing. Ha!
Inside the church. What a beautiful sanctuary! President Carter made that cross that hangs over the baptismal pool.
Miss Jan comes out after everybody gets seated and she starts her hour of instruction. You're not to applaud President Carter when he comes out (he hates that), you're not to stand when he comes in, you can't take pictures of him until he starts his "Where Are You From?" part where he walks around and asks each section where they're from. You can only yell out your state once so if somebody else says "Georgia!", you better shut up. Don't let her hear "Georgia" more than once. Once he's done with "Where Are You From?", he'll go right into asking if there are any ministers or missionaries, past or present, in the audience. It's then that you turn your phone OFF and you can't take any more pictures. They film the entire service and supposedly the phones cause problems with the filming. Turn it OFF. Don't try her.
After her hour-long instruction period (She's not all bad. She's funny and very entertaining, too.), you have about 10 minutes to go potty and get back before President Carter comes in. Be back in there before he comes in.
He came in so quietly I missed it. I just heard him start talking to us and when I looked up, there he was. Frail, pale, soft-spoken but with that same big smile on his face. He started by telling us he was so glad we were there and he told us a little bit about his cancer and his treatment that he's undergoing. Not chemo right now but immunotherapy, to boost his immune system so that he can fight the cancer better. Peacemaker that he is, he was supposed to go to Ghana this week but had to cancel due to his treatment. After we all told him where we were from and he had a young missionary woman lead us in prayer, he started the lesson. 1 Timothy. Faith. Paul was telling young Timothy to stay there in Ephesus and tell the people to stop teaching false doctrine, for false doctrine is not advancing God's command to love from a pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith. The folks in Ephesus wanted to teach but they had no idea what they were talking about. He spoke some on the importance of women in the Bible, in the church and how Jesus lifted up the women in His life. He didn't mistreat them or treat them as second-class citizens. Jesus loved everybody. It was a great lesson. I hung on his every word. He strayed over to 1 Corinthians 13 once and quoted one of my favorite passages. Verse 13 says, And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. How wonderful our world would be if we only loved like Jesus loves. He finished up his lesson, we had a short break and then morning worship began. President Carter joined Miss Rosalynn on a pew to the right of us and we enjoyed church together. They have a wonderful young preacher who knows his Bible, he's funny and he loves the Lord. You can tell. After worship service was over, the Carters went down front and sat on stools (his doctor told him he could continue to do pictures as long as he sat down to do it). Miss Jan came back out, dictating who goes first and who goes next, taking folks from all over the sanctuary randomly. I guess that works best. She should know. When it was our turn, I went straight to Miss Rosalynn and Larry went to the President's side. It was over in a flash, literally. She said "good morning" to me and I told her how happy I was to see them. We took Larry's phone from the photographer and we marched down the left side and out of the church, just as Miss Jan had instructed us. :)
I had my eyes closed in the picture so we got back in line and got a second one! This time, Miss Rosalynn was the one with her eyes closed. But that's all right. I made her laugh and it's a very sweet memory for me and I wouldn't change one thing.
Not so much in this one but in every single photo I took of President Carter, he has a light all around his head. The lighting in the church is pretty bad but Larry nailed it. God is all over that man.
We left and ate lunch at Mimmie's Diner, along with just about everybody else from the church, including Miss Jan. Good old Sunday dinner country cooking. Baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli casserole, squash casserole, collards and okra, corn bread and biscuits, pecan pie, ice box lemon pie and pumpkin pie. And cold sweet tea. It was delicious! I'm so happy we went. Nobody knows how long we have so first of all, we should make sure things are good with God, then things are good with others and finally, things are good with ourselves. I encourage everybody reading this to go have this experience for yourselves if you can. It's a little work getting your seating tickets and all but we all know that anything worth having takes a little work. Sunday School with President Carter is worth having.
***I made a sweet new friend from North Carolina this weekend in Plains, so Julie, if you're reading this, Happy Birthday, girl!!***
Larry and I have had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Exhausting, yes, but wonderful all the same. We are planning on doing a whole lot of nothin' tomorrow. :)
Yesterday, we drove down to Plains to be at Maranatha Baptist Church at 1:00 to get our seating tickets to go back down there today to be part of President Carter's Sunday School class. That whole amazing, incredible experience deserves its own blog post, though.
On our way back, we stopped in Andersonville. Larry had never been but since I grew up in Oglethorpe, I had been many times. Every October, my family and I went to the arts and crafts festival in the tiny Civil War village of Andersonville and enjoyed the pioneer farm with the old grist mill, ate good food, watched craftsmen and artists make, paint or create pretty much anything you could imagine, listened to the live bluegrass music, watched and (sometimes participated in!) the clogging and square dancing, talked to folks dressed in Civil War clothing who walked around the fair and around their very realistic camps and last but not least, we cheered and booed the mock Civil War battles that they reenacted, with the North winning one day and the South winning the next or vice versa, depending on who won first last year. It was a part of my life. A part of my life that I accepted, embraced and greatly enjoyed. Before the National Park system took over, we would run down the hills of the prison camp site area and splash in the little creek that ran through the camp. It was fun! It was wonderful! It was our heritage and we were damn proud of it.
As I grew older, though, I learned the truth about Andersonville from books, movies, television shows and I started doing my own research. Surely this was not MY Andersonville they're talking about. The monument I climbed on as a child dedicated to the memory of war hero Henry Wirz was actually a big fat lie. That man was not a hero. He was a monster. He allowed deplorable conditions to just take over Andersonville, or Camp Sumter, as it was officially called, and thousands of men died from drinking water polluted with their own waste, literally starving to death on bug-infested cornmeal and a few beans a day and succumbing to the harsh exposure to the weather because they were forbidden to build shelters. Yeah, war is hell. But Andersonville was worse. It was designed to hold 10,000 men. They sent four times that there. The majority of the men there died from diarrhea. Diarrhea. A condition that is easily taken care of now and could have been then with proper medical treatment and GENERAL HUMAN DECENCY. It pisses me off. I cried several times walking around with Larry, showing him this and that, sharing a part of my life that he hadn't gotten to see yet.
We were sad but we stayed and experienced the whole thing. The cemetery, the prison camp, Providence Spring, the POW Museum and movie, the gift shop, even the staff lowering the flag at the end of the day. I'm glad we went. I'm glad I went back. I can't remember the last time I was there but I'm guessing pretty close to 25 years ago. I saw it through different eyes this time and although I was sad and tearful and mad and embarrassed, I felt a very real calmness when we left.
Be forever at peace, all 12,912 of you.
Here are a few pictures from our time at Andersonville. They're a little grainy. Visiting Andersonville was a spur-of-the-moment thing and we only had our phones with us.
There were several character cutouts to pose with!
My shoulders are just a leeeetle bit wider than Scarlett's. Ha!
All I am saying...
Larry posing in a prison cell in the POW Museum. It was so tiny, it gave me the creeps.
Eleven Schneiders were at Andersonville. We picked one to visit. Augustus. He was at Andersonville eight months and died of diarrhea and dehydration. He was from Indiana, although his stone says Ohio. He was captured in Virginia.
Larry bought a Union Kepi hat at the gift shop and wore it for Augustus.
We bought a small glass bottle and I filled it with water from Providence Spring. The story of Providence is a sweet one. God sent it. He didn't choose sides in this war. Y'all know how hot our summers can be. Well, in the summer of 1864, those poor men were thirsting literally to death when a thunderstorm popped up one afternoon and lightning struck the ground where I'm kneeling in this picture. A fountain of pure spring water erupted right there, saving the lives of thousands of Union soldiers and it still flows to this day. It was very, very cold, too!
Although the sign
there says the water is not fit for human consumption (ya think??),
Larry drank some anyway. He said those guys drank it so he would, too.
We bought matching Andersonville Prison t-shirts in the gift shop and we both were touched by the poem on the back. It was written by Robert Kellogg, an Andersonville survivor and it is called They Have Fallen.