TINY TUESDAY #28: SUMMER FUN edition!

OH HAI THERE!
Looky at what day it is!
TINY!!
TUESDAY!!
Aren’t you just the most excited ever?!

I’ve been collecting a bunch of TINY fun for you for TOO LONG and it’s time to let you have it! I’ve got pics from the past few months that I keep meaning to include in a TT and the time has finally arrived. TODAY you get a GIGANTIC episode of Tiny Tuesday!

Here are some TINY!!!! things I saw in New Orleans:
TINY CHAIR!
also: “beware of strange dog” sign

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TINY!!
MINI BOTTLES!!
(these were at the Food and Beverage Museum I mentioned here.)

There was an even bigger display behind the bar at a place called Liuzza’s but I flubbed up the pictures. {If you go there, be sure to try their crazy good Bloody Marys}

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TINY!!
GREEN METALLIC!!
KING CAKE BABY!!
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I got this at one of my favorite shops called, “What’s New” in the French Quarter. I reallllly wanted one of these necklaces but didn’t have those kinds of funds. I opted for this shiny green alien king cake baby instead–she only cost 50 cents instead of 50 bucks.

AND NOW FOR SOME SUPER RANDO TINY THINGS!

TINY!!!
ORCHID!!!
{and lovely thumb nail!}

My totally talented internet fraaaaand  Kim Bui posted this picture on her IG back in May and saved it on my laptop and forgot all about it. She actually made this TINY delight for her mama for mother’s day! Isn’t it the TINY cutest?! Kim does all sorts of rad nail design and she posts pictures of tons of wonderful things like: NAILS (duh), coffee, and TINY stuff! Be sure to check her out and follow her!

TINY!!
KNOT!!
in weed-eater string!!

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My weedeater has been sucking my will to live lately. It does ridiculous things like tie a TINY know in itself. I think something is wrong with the mechanism that automatically releases the string. I ran through SO MUCH string at my mom’s house that I ran out before I finished the job. In an effort to save myself a trip to the hardware store I tried a DIY hack that seemed ridiculous BUT WORKED!!!

HENCE, this TINY!!! MIRACLE!
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That is a ZIP TIE you see sticking out of the string hole! While this would be a major pain to use to trim an entire yard, it DEFINITELY worked in a pinch. It took three zip ties to cut about 30 feet of driveway. If you want to learn more check out YouTube–there are several tutorials that explain how to try it.

And some naughty toy purchases…
Y’all know I cannot resist blindboxes.

Waffle Cat came in a blind box!! You can find them here at Hot Topic or here at Amazon. I found mine at Barnes and Noble in Hickory. I snagged another Tricky Cat by KidRobot. They are seriously my favorite blind boxes ever! What is it about a blind box that is so thrilling? It reminds me of being a kid and getting a grab-bag for a dollar at the auction barn!

TINY!!
ERASER!!
FOXES & BUNNIES!!

Adorable woodland miniature erasers!
There’s nothing quite like TINY school supplies.

Hope you enjoyed this rather HUGE edition of TINY TUESDAY!
Keep coming back for MOARRRR Tiny!

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New Orleans, Part 2.

New Orleans, Part 2.
—or—
Noms & Dranks, of course.

A preface:

New Orleans is a touristy place. As someone who is from a touristy place (Asheville) I understand just how miserable it can be to deal with tourists. I try to never act like a tourist even when I am one.

It is also worth noting that I pretty much ALWAYS look like I’m on vacation. I wear bright, bold, tropical colors, lots of beads, big earrrings, boho bag bedecked in dangling key chains, and I carry a fan. I’ve been at this as long as I can remember. {Also, since when did tourists start carrying fans? Dang jerks have copped my doom-hippie style. I digress.} It’s okay to be a tourist. It’s NOT okay to go to place that is not yours and expect it to cater to your needs. If you want “normal food” just go to Applebee’s. Don’t get wasted-face and act like you’ve never been to a bar before. Over-tip your servers, even if they seem distant–they’ve likely been dealing with jerk tourists.

There are like one millions great places to eat and drink in New Orleans. Just ask someone–they will tell you their favorites.  Ain’t nobody got time for Pat O’Briens. You ARE allowed to go to Cafe DuMonde. It really is worth it. (FYI just grab a table–DO NOT stand in the stupid line!!!) Unless you’re going to LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop you can pretty much bypass Bourbon Street. Or you can walk down it to gawk at those 8 blocks of horror. Anyway… I’m going to tell you about some places that I love. If you go there, you better not act like a jerk. Okay? Okay. Now take notes because you’re gonna want to remember these.

[Don’t forget, all text in BOLD ITALICS is a clickable link to more info!!!}

LaFITTE’S BLACKSMITH SHOP:

It’s the oldest bar in America. You should go there.

Get a margarita or a Purple Drink. Don’t ask, just do it.

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Margaritas are made with out that NASTY mixer stuff–very refreshing.

BUD RIP’S

Located in the Bywater.

Kinda hipster but welcomed my mom and people with dogs.

Great daily drink specials ($3-$5) and fresh flowers on the bar.

Free oysters {and set ups!} on Saturday afternoons.

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Always tip yer shucker, sucker.

HANSEN’S:

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You get to sit on that metal bench and destroy your frozen delight.

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{photo credit, MOM <3}

Here is what my mom posted on Facebook after her first Sno-Bliz:

“There Are No Shortcuts to Quality” is the motto of Hansen’s Sno-Bliz. Today was the day I had my first sno-ball ever. It was fluffy. It was pink. The softest shaved ice ever. Cream of nectar syrup, crushed pineapple, vanilla ice cream buried in the shaved ice, marshmallow fluff. The “Jr Atomic” looks like a mushroom cloud and is perhaps an immature thing for a woman my age to order, but I will do it again…and again…given the chance! Oh, and a cherry on top. (This was a recommendation from The Book.)

I would wax poetic about this but really just go to their website and read their story. Then at your very next convenient moment, you should go there. Like, drive from Texas or North Carolina or Oregon and don’t even stop at your hotel, just go immediately there. Get the Junior Atomic with Nectar. If you tell them it’s your first you *might* get a tiny American flag tooth pick and sprinkles on your. Or maybe I just looked like such a tourist fangirl that I got those things.

Southern Food & Beverage Museum 
also home of the Museum of the American Cocktail

This museum has a little section on food from all southern states.
You can get a drink at the bar and drink it while you browse.
You encouraged to TOUCH a lot of the gadgets/items on display.

There were even DOLLS, y’all.

You may (probably not, LOL) remember the doll on the left from this post. I tried to buy a doll just like this and had drama (click to read about if ya wanna). At least now I know “who she is” and can try to buy one someday! The doll on the right is a Chiquita banana promotion. Aren’t they both just dreamy?

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From the Museum of the American Cocktail.

There is also a pretty major cocktail napkin collection (way more than what you see here) and y’all know how much I love paper napkins.

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CENTRAL GROCERY
Muffulettas y’all.
HOT TIP: you can get them without meat–hooray!

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photo credit–MOM ❤

Now let’s talk about Po-boy’s.

There are two places that I have had magical po-boys. It is possible that I was spoiled/warped by having the sandwich at these two places early on in my NO tenure. I’m sure there are other great places out there, but after several very mediocre experiences I would rather just get to the source and bypass sadfaces.

If you want to take the sandwich to eat on the grass by the river:
VERTI MART
{FUN FACT: I love this sandwich so much I have considered naming a child Verti}
The fried oyster seems a bit pricey but you will not regret it.

If you want to eat at a table with a plate:
COOP’S
I’d advise to go early or for lunch (they get slammed and there’s a line).
It’s worth noting that you gotta be 21 to enter, even to just eat.

 

A couple of more places you might want to check out for drinks:
In the Quarter:

Molly’s at the Market: cold AC, cheap drinks, across from the market (obvs)
Erin Rose : cheap drinks, superior juke box, po-boys (heard they’re good)
SoBou : fancy but great happy hour, sometimes pool is open to public

In the Bywater:
Mimi’s: restaurant with bar menu & “trust me” order option, great happy hour
Marie’s: cold AC, CHEAP drinks, old bar flies

And if you need some PIZZA—->Pizza Delicious…lawdy.

AND 2 MOARRRR THINGS:

There are two places I went on this trip that were pretty random but SUPER fun. One was a gourmet soft drink store and the other was a giant mardi gras bead warehouse. The soft drink store is called Rocket Fizz and is a chain that sells weird drinks and candies. My doll club likes to get strange soft drinks to sample so this was a gold mine of delight. Once we drink the ones I bought I will report back on the flavors I got–they included: Churro Burro, Faygo Rock & Rye, Peanut Butter, Grass, Ranch, and Fog. Yup. You read those right. I took some suggestions from a little boy who was about 8 years old who had come in several different times with his family. He seemed like an expert.

The other place was called The Mardi Gras Spot which is a GIANT warehouse of all kinds of beads and stuff to throw in parades. If you love beads and parasols you gotta get there. A lot of store warehouses like this charge admission just to go shop (like $15 >:P ) so this one is a great place that you can go for free. The prices are very reasonable and CHEAP when compared to out of town shopping. They also carry glass beads!

WHEW!
That’s a LOT of info but I hope you enjoyed it!

Be sure to check out New Orleans, Part 1. and my YouTube Amtrak video!

See you soon with the last post about the trip:
New Orleans, Part 3: For Mr Smith

New Orleans, Part 1.

New Orleans, Part 1.
The train, “The Book”, and the Trinity.

As you know from THIS post, I recently took the Amtrak to New Orleans to vacation with my mother. The last time I took a long train ride like this was in 2004 when I went with my mom from PA to NYC after I graduated from college. So it had been a minute since I traveled this way.

The picture below doesn’t really do justice to JUST HOW WEIRD IT WAS to go at 2:30am to what seems like an abandoned train track and feel like it was either a murder in the making or an episode of candid camera. Big props to Mr. Smith for taking me there, staying with me, and not being too weirded out! After the boarding time came and went with NO TRAIN, I checked the Amtrak website and discovered the train was delayed by an hour. And sure enough, pretty much right at 4:15am, a GIANT train with at least ten cars stopped in Gastonia for just little ol me.

It felt straight up like the Knight Bus in Harry Potter.

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They were out of cheese pizza.

The train trip was AWESOME. I absolutely recommend traveling this way if you have some flexibility in your travel time (ie, don’t need to get somewhere in a short amount of time). The trip took about 17 hours (that went SO FAST) but would have taken at least 11 by plane (with the tickets that I could afford–one way tickets were over $400). The coach seats were VERY big and reclined way more than the 1.5 inches on a plane. The staff was really helpful and friendly. The bathrooms were a little gross, but so are most public bathrooms, right? I’m calling it $135 very well spent. When I travel this way again the only thing I will do differently is to pack some sneaky beverages of my own and more food from home. As long as you eat in your seat and not the dining car, they don’t mind you bringing your own noms. I’ll also check for delays before I leave home.

Let’s talk briefly about what has become known as “The Book.” This is not to be confused with “The Good Book”– it is a delightful love letter to the food and drink of New Orleans and the people who make it possible. I stumbled upon The Book on an end cap at the public library in Gastonia. The cover caught my eye and the book flap blurb sounded like it might be worth a read.

In all honesty, I get nervous about books that have to do with New Orleans, and really, Louisiana in general. Cliches abound and are both powerful and painful. The Book, Gumbo Tales ended up pleasing me in a way that only James Lee Burke has in recent years. My nerves quickly melted in to relief as I read and knew that author Sara Roahen “got it”. That’s all I will say about The Book besides that if you are a n00b or a native, Roahen is likely to show you some places that will make your face, taste-buds, and tummy smile.

Carrying on!

Besides the obvious food & drinks, my favorite parts of New Orleans can be described as The Trinity. Graffiti, cats, and people are probably my other favorite things about New Orleans. They are everywhere and they are like no where else. Here are some pictures and snippets of The Trinity from this trip.

GRAFFITI:

There were a few tags that my eye kept seeing all over town. While I didn’t get pictures of any of them they’re still worth a mention so you can look for them if you’re around. DUKY (while I wish it was pronounced “Duckie” like my cat, I imagine it’s “dookie” like Green Day but whatevs), REZNOR (again with the 90’s ref), ACHOO and READ. I’m not sure if it’s by the same person as the READ around town but you gotta check this out—–>  This piece is freaking huge–seriously, click here to see it.

Now for some I saw and documented!

I kept seeing these wonderful clusters of koi all over the Bywater.

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I know that is NOT a Horn Worm, but I totally thought it was at first glance :O

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CATS!

Y’all all know how much I love puds, and to be totally honest, I thought I’d end up bringing a batch of swamp kittens home with me. Mr. Smith better be glad I didn’t find any! Unfortunately, the pictures I got of the Bywater cats are pretty far away. These are definitely feral cats that wouldn’t let me get ANY closer. I gave them plenty of space and they seemed to enjoy being talked to.

While feral cats give me little bit of a sad attack, I was glad to see that in most of the groups I saw at least a few had notched ears (a sign on spay/neuter). If you don’t know much about TNR (Trap/Neuter/Realease) and feral populations you really gotta check out The Kitten Lady. She is one of my s-heroes and her outreach has helped me feel better about ferals.

I circled all the cats in yellow so you could find them! If you don’t see them in the circle it’s because they were behind posts. The red circle is a pile of leaf trash and not a cat 🙂

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I DID get to pet this cat! Doesn’t she look like she could be Patti Smith’s sister?

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PEOPLE:

While I don’t take pictures of too many people, I do love the less obtrusive art of watching/hearing/seeing/smelling them. Not everyone is friendly all of the time, but most people are helpful, even the street car drivers. Once people can feel your affection for their city you are likely to be brought in to the fold–I won’t wax poetic about all that–if you know it, you know it. Speaking of, it was so good to see my old pal Hedges who is a transplant from Chicago but has been a tour guide down in the quarter for years.  Be sure to check him out here! He will let you in on lots of interesting facts AND the best places to eat and drink. You’ll want to put him on speed-dial…wait, is that even a thing anymore? Oh yeah, he also does plays.

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People filing in for the ‘Theater of the Absurd’ at The Mudlark.

20170715_175237_LIStay tuned for the next installment of my New Orleans adventuring. I’m trying to convince my mom to do a guest post or two telling about her nearly month long adventure down there. What do you think? Wanna hear from her? Comment down below!

If you CLICK HERE you can see my Instagram account where I posted a BUNCH of pictures from the trip. I’m trying not to re-post the same stuff across all these accounts, so definitely go check out the stuff I have posted there.  Also, I am WORKING HARD at trying to edit a little movie of video footage I took so stay tuned for that, too!

TIE DYE, OH MY!

Oh hai!

Is it 1967 or 1997?

Those are the times I think of in terms of tie dye, hahaha!

I had this set of sunny yellow sheets that is pretty high thread count and felt really nice and was all around in great shape. EXCEPT for some rando mildew stains. I tried treating the stains and had absolutely NO LUCK getting them to budge. I felt bad about the idea of donating them somewhere since they were stained and they were WAY too nice to throw away. SOOOoooo I thought I’d try out my old tie dye skills!

Here is what the top sheet looked like all tied up.

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I worked on the top sheet first. I used a few different rolls of what I think is cotton twine. I cut pieces that measured my “wingspan” or fingertip to finger tip. I was hoping to be able to reuse the string (that would also be kind of tie dyed) so I didn’t use any knots. As you can pretty well see in the picture above, I twisted a ‘horn’ in the sheet, then about an inch from the tip, started wrapping the string, then moved down another 1.5 inches or so and wrapped again, all the way until the string ran out. Then I tucked the sting in the last wrap to secure, using a crochet hook as needed.

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I used Rit Dye in liquid form. The ratio was half a bottle to three gallons of HOT water. The instructions said to stir the bucket of fabric and dye CONSTANTLY for an hour. I stirred my bucket about every ten minutes. I would probably have stirred more frequently but I was dealing with the “Great Horn Worm Incident of 2017” (look for my Victory Garden Update #5 for more on THAT) so I was kinda busy.

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After and hour I took the sheet out of the dye and it looked like this hilarious squid thing!

I then unwound all the little strings very carefully, which ended up being way easier than I thought. The dye took to the string and looks really nice.  It will be great for incorporating in to doll sweaters! AND CHECK OUT THE PATTERNS! I am so pleased with how the top sheet turned out! I rinsed it until the water ran clear and then hung it out to dry.

After I got all that done, I went ahead and tied up the fitted sheet to dye. I wasn’t totally sure how well it would take the dye since it was the second batch AND the water wasn’t hot anymore. For the fitted sheet I actually left it in the dye bath for about 3 hours. When it came out of the dye it looked pretty much the exact same! Whew!

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WHOA! Isn’t that freaking gorgeous!?!?!

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I just love my funny porch/deck garden!
You may recognize this if you’ve kept up with the victory garden this season.

Here is the finished product all folded up! And YES I am one of those wizards who can perfectly fold a fitted sheet. It’s an ancient and dark art I learned from my grandmother. If you want to learn I can teach you…but it will cost you your soul!

(Kidding, I’ll totally teach you for free 🙂 )

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The dye definitely dried to a lighter color but still looks nice AND the dye covered up the weird stains which was my goal! I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep them, sell them, or donate them. I’m going to put them on my guest bed and take some pictures and try to decide after that.

Yay for creative problem solving!

Yay for tie dye sheets!

🙂

Thirsty Thursday #4: Treehouse Vineyards Edition

Are y’all THIRSTY yet?!

You sure ought to be, because it is THURSDAY!!!

Do you like wine?

Do you like tree houses?

I can’t imagine anyone that DOESN’T like wine and tree houses, or at least one of the two! Treehouse Vineyards in downtown Monroe is such a treat to discover. A few weeks back, my mom and I took a little road trip over to Union county and tried it out and I cannot wait to go back. There is currently a two person tree-house that you can spend the night in! This fall their eight person tree-house will be ready to rent!

As soon as we drove up, I felt at home 🙂 :

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Inside the tasting room we found requisite winery gift shop delights!

There was plenty of great jewelry, funny paper napkins, and sparkly wine themed shirts!

Neon sign that proclaims the truth!!

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During the tasting, if you don’t like something you can dump it in the Solo goblet…which I did not do because everything was delicious! Plenty of the little wine cracker to nosh while you sip. There is a cooler case full of cheese and meat appetizers you can buy (very reasonably priced) to snack on while you sip. They even have Palmetto Cheese. SWOON.

I gotta tell you, the wines were GOOD. I’m not really a sweet wine person, and much of what is made in North Carolina IS sweet. That’s because muscadines grow well here, and many varieties of wine grapes just don’t. I’ve tried quite a lot of wineries in NC, and even in the Yadkin Valley it’s pretty common to find wines that just aren’t very good. This is a winery does a great job making delicious wine, mostly with fruit they grow in their own vineyard. All this is coupled with friendly staff that didn’t act snooty. It was a refreshing change!

My favorite wine was “Sweet Union”. I could drink that stuff all day long! All the wines have names with really great stories behind them. You’ll have to take the tour to learn all about them!  Possibly the greatest thing is that you can get any of their by-the-glass wines made in to a wine slush. A. WINE. SLUSH. Seriously.

This is the Date Night Treehouse that you can rent by the HOUR.

I’m not even kidding.

If you peak back in the tree you can see little bits of the tree house hiding in the trees!

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Inside and front porch of the Date Night treehouse.

 

The view from the front porch.

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Because wine slush y’all.

WINE.

SLUSH.

Take a friend! Take a picnic! Take a book! Take a board game! This is a wonderful location for a family afternoon outing. There are porch swings hanging from trees. There is “corn hole”. There are plenty of places to sit back and enjoy the view, even if you don’t (or aren’t old enough to) drink. There is even a great tin roof to listen to, just in case it rains.

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For real–if you’re going to visit a vineyard in the Piedmont of North Carolina, this is one of the most fun. Just be sure to get a wine slush and some Palmetto Cheese! Yum!

Tell them Coon-Smith Sutlery sent you!

Tiny Tuesday #4

❤ Tiny Tuesday time again! ❤

A QUOTE ABOUT TINY!

Untitled

TINY ERASER FOOD!

So I seriously learn something hilarious and new every time I write a dang blog post. Most recently I discovered there is an online Eraser Museum! I only wish it was a brick and mortar museum because me and the doll club would be there like RIGHT NOW. Also, I never thought about where vending machine people got their tiny toys…this is one of the places it happens. I’m stoked to find more places to find tiny stuff, OF COURSE.

TINY TEA SETS!   TINY COPPER KETTLE!   TINY COCKTAILS!   TINY DISH SOAP!

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Enter a caption

You can use the tiny soap by Spanish miniaturist, LugArt Petit, to “wash” your darling tea set, like this one owned by Made by White, and the Tom Collins made by SandSSweetMinis. Where can I find tiny copper polish for the kettle set from The Heirloom Shoppe? The tiny dish soaps…they’re killing me.

TINY KAWAII!

Gudetama-phlegmatic

via Sanrio Rement

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Gudetarma Rement pic by my buddy on Insta.

Gudetama is my latest weird kawaii crush. Why is the lazy egg so amusing?! I had no idea until today that there is a Sanrio Wiki and that is where I learned all about who Gudetama is and where he came from. TINY GRUMPY EGG!!!!!

TINY BONSAI!

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Who knew Bonsai could get anymore incredible? Now we know, Benjamin Starr!

 

REAL LIFE TINY! (jelly packets)

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Actually, my most favorite tiny jelly packets come from Cracker Barrel, and I always take the extras like a good grandma. Alas, it has been too long since I’ve been to one and I have none on hand to take pictures of!

TINY IN ASHEVILLE!

Over the weekend I had a super fun overnight adventure with Mr. Smith (until I got a mega cold 😦 ) We got to meet the Wranglerstars (our favorite youtubers) and I think I managed not to squee too hard in front of them. While we were in town I saw some super cute super tiny things worth telling you about!

These tiny toys came from Mast General Store which is sort of a tourist trap, but I am such a sucker for their old time-y toys and candy. They also sell Blenheim’s Gingerale which I love so much that I could (and should) write an entire post about. Anyway, these tiny toys are so fun! There were also teeny army men, yoyos, sock monkeys, and Fisher-Price telephone and stacker toys. I was so excited over them that the pictures I took came out too shaky to use. Dang it!

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At Malaprop’s Bookstore I found these insanely adorable tiny clothes pins. How awesome would these be for doll stuff?! Malaprops’s is old-school Asheville at its best, and I love them for hundred reasons but I gotta tell you that their tchotchkes send me over the edge. Not pictured here are their hundreds of Moleskine notebooks and Micron ink pens in the rainbow of colors.

Legos seem like sort of cop out as far as tiny things go, because OF COURSE Legos are tiny. HOWEVER, when you see this dang many tiny things together all at once I think it becomes a special occasion. Especially when the collection is FOR SALE at a flea market! Just one more reason to love Smiley’s!

 

 

 

 

 

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Stay tuned for next time because I’ll be back right here…keeping it TINY!

Other houses

There are at least nineteen of them, the houses I have lived in. For a long time, I’ve wanted to go back to all of the places I have called home and take pictures of how they are today. On our most recent adventure, Mom and I visited one of our old towns, Robersonville, NC.

It was a good trip, and good to see our old stomping grounds, but it was also sort of sad. Like many places across the United States, it seems that the Great Recession hit Martin County pretty hard. The county used to be bustling with a strong agriculture based economy; tobacco and tomatoes were the big crops during our tenure there. From the pictures I am sharing you can tell that this was probably a very affluent community back in the early 1900s. During the time we lived there, the neighborhood was a well cared for, if blue-collar area.

Robersonville was the only “in town” place I lived as a kid. That is to say, we lived with neighbors right next door, sidewalks, and an icecream truck that drove through our neighborhood on blazing summer afternoons. I called my side walk “Hiccup Avenue” because the gigantic trees had roots that pushed up the sidewalks, causing my bike to jump up as rode, like hiccups! Those big beautiful trees are gone now, but the broken sidewalks still remain.

We brought our cats with us from Marshville, where we had last lived. Their names were Alamo (a striped orange-nosed Tom) and Eleanor (a small gray lady that had once been feral). I can remember my mom talking to them as we drove them to their new home. They were nervous and she sing-songed to them about their new lives as “Martin County cats”. Life felt like it would be so cosmopolitan there!

And it was, for me.

This first picture is from one of the houses on the corner where you turned to get to our old house. This house sat across the street from a similar house, but the other one had a veranda with a ceiling painted sky blue. Mom and I wondered if the paint job would still be blue…

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…and it was.

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The house next to ours was a Sears & Roebuck kit house.  I don’t remember anyone living there during our time on that street. Although my mother denies it, I remember my parents bribing me to lean across the fence and use the pecan picker-upper to pick up the pecan crop that would have otherwise lay in waste. JC Penny’s (though not Sears) still printed a big Christmas catalog back then, and I remember being amazed that once upon a time, houses like the one next door could be ordered just like a Barbie doll or a pair of Keds sneakers!

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Here is our old house.

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Despite the age and changes, there were things that made me feel happy about the house; the dog in the back yard, the little lanterns hanging on the front porch, the patio table. I imagine the family sitting out there and having supper together. I imagine the kids sitting on the wide brick railings and reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books, like I did. I imagine that at Christmas you can see the tall-tall Christmas tree all aglow in the foyer. I imagine there is a kid who has the bedroom upstairs, left of the port-cochere, who believes in magic and loves the Beach Boys, but maybe doesn’t still have the hot pink shag carpet anymore.

 

 

Rendevous at Replacements

❤ This is the guy that started it all! Mr. Bob Page! ❤

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Replacements, ltd. is a seriously fun place for anyone who loves dishes, glassware, and silver. I was totally the weirdo kid who bought her first set of dishes (dessert plates with little purple violets with a silver rim–for $6 at an antique mall in Ybor City) at the ripe age of eight. For those like *us* Replacements is about like Disney World. From what I have read, Mr. Page was probably a kid like me. 🙂 You can read more about him and how his dish empire started here.

Apartment Therapy visits Replacements is a neat tour of the whole shebang. There are even a few little video clips to watch to whet your appetite. The article mentions hearing the “tinging” of china and glass as workers check pieces for cracks–mom and I immediately noticed this when we went in the warehouse. Such a lovely ringing sound!

The welcome staff on the showroom floor was super friendly, even to a weirdo like me. They even have a nice customer lounge (presumably for those suckers who got brought along for the ride against their will, teehee) with a teevee and a Keurig machine so there is literally something for everyone.

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Well behaved pets…Duck is so not invited, haha!

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The hall of fame–samples of most popular patterns for all the big brand names.

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SO MANY PRETTIES!

There is even a movie with parts filmed at Replacements called Junebug. It has a totally all star cast including Amy Adams, Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene from Walking Dead), Celia Weston (she plays the sweet southern Grandmother in like everything) and even Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy). I first saw it when I lived in Missouri and was like “OMG NC!”–it was a real treat to have a slice of North Carolina culture on the silver screen.

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Replacements is about more than just plates, crystal, and silver. They sell all manner of tchotchkes. From commemorative plates for British Royalty to deviled egg candles, this place has you covered. Most of what you’ll see in this next photos is for sale, and the prices are really pretty reasonable for a little piece of history.

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Be sure to check out “Bob’s Discount Corner” where everything is less than $10!

There are tons of Christmas and winter holiday decor to drool over. I sort of think these glass ornaments are weird, but I continue to be enamored of them. I especially love the placement of the heart, cigar, beers, and ice-cream in a row together. I’ve always thought the Pickle ornament traditions was a little weird, despite my true love of pickles. Anyway, I really like the cut tomato that is to the left of the pickle in the second picture below. I also like the fortune cookie!

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The ornament I was most tempted by was the little turkey and ham. I think I’ve mentioned before my great love of Beatrix Potter and her delightful animal creatures. My all time favorite book of hers is The Tale of Two Bad Mice. It’s a story about a husband and wife mouse that happen upon a doll house and get super mad about the fake food they discover there. Below left is an illustration of Tom Thumb attempting to carve a porcelain ham…which is rather similar to the perfectly doll sized glittery ham ornament on the right! I couldn’t bring myself to shell out the $12 bucks for it, but I might have to make the trip another time and get a Christmas ham for my dollies!

I have a pretty extensive collection of Beatrix Potter figurines and so does Replacements. They has quite a few of the same ones that I own (and it was informative to know how much they are currently worth!) and a few that I don’t. Below is Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise from the Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher. Now he is officially on my to-buy list. In the story he brings a salad in a string bag to Jeremy’s house for dinner. That’s what the figurine is carrying. Isn’t he a dour sort of looking fellow?

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But for real y’all, if you are running through Greensboro you gotta hit the frontage road and have a dish adventure! And buy me this little tortoise, why don’t ya? Or a little deviled egg candle would also do!  🙂

Have you been before? What was your favorite part? Did you buy a Christmas Ham for your dolls? Tell me all about it!

 

Picayune Pictures #5

Here is one of the reasons you haven’t heard from me in days! I was really hoping to do some on-the-road blogging but my dear darling Duck Rabbit “wild cat” Rousey did THIS to my phone’s charging cord. As you can see, I tried to repair it before. After two nights of not getting a good charge on my phone I realized it was because the cord was nearly chewed in half. I pretty much just had enough juice to get some pictures taken. Now I have a fancy new pink cord. BAD KITTY.

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BAD KITTY!

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I have had MAJOR knitting drama over the past week or so. I’ve been working on my third sweater (in a pattern I’ve knitted twice before) and I really messed up some calculations. I’d come up with a way to “fix” one of the mistakes (laddering was a success) but when the next wrong calculation (the steek was also a success but created a NEW problem) became obvious I just decided to take. the. whole. damn. thing. apart. I’ve since restarted it with major modifications. Stay tuned to see if I’m happier with the second attempt. Totally bummertown.

Aaaaand my little bird friend from last spring is back and has taken up residence in my mail box again. I’ve got to write a “Do Not Disturb” sign on it so that mama bird doesn’t abandon her eggs. Does anyone recognize what type they might be? If so, please comment!

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I was really sad to hear about the passing of Earl Hamner, Jr. For those who might not recognize his name, he was the author of the book The Homecoming that later inspired the television show The Waltons. This book particular copy of the book was given to me years back and it has since been one of my most prized possessions. If you haven’t read the book, you totally should–I can’t say enough good things about it, particularly if you are interested in frugal country living and wholesome family fun. Here is a wonderful obituary that the New York Times posted over the weekend.

I had Easter lunch at my house with my mom and Mr. Smith! We had Alton Brown’s citrus salmon (a family favorite), deviled eggs, roasted sweet potato salad, the best coleslaw ever, and grilled pineapple on coconut gelato for dessert. And wine, of course. Would you  like a tutorial on how to make this award winning slaw? To be honest it hasn’t actually won any awards but I am pretty sure it would/could/will someday. Tell me if you are interested in the recipe and I *might* let y’all in on the secret ingredients.

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After cutting the grass for the first time this season it was time to whip out the Twang. Stay tuned for a special drink themed post later in the week… 😉

I’ve also got two vacation posts coming up–about the area in eastern North Carolina where I used to live, and the trip mom and I made to Replacements. Stay tuned for the posts that were inhibited because of the phone cord drama! BAD KITTY!

 

Recovery from vacation

 

Hello from regular, post-vacation life!

I’m just about unpacked and ready to start back to life’s routine.  Just about.

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I am such a sucker for pastel colored food!  I saw these little ready made sundaes in the ice cream case as I hustled my way to the bathroom on a pit stop heading home.  We picked up the coconut patties as a little treat for my grandparents.  The Neapolitan bar was mom’s snack–that kind was always a favorite of my father.  He also loved Zagnut candy bars. Have you ever had one of them? Have you tried these sundaes?

Another fun fact: the gas station sold six packs of my favorite Catawba Brewing Company beer: White Zombie.  I love seeing micro-brews creeping their way across the state!
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There are a few things from the trip that I forgot to tell you about.

The clown doll from Day 2 got SOLD!!!  I was back at the same store two days later and the clown doll (and a few other dolls) were gone.  I am so happy about it!  Truthfully, the clown would probably made it’s way into my life otherwise.

There were two funny things that I saw but couldn’t get a picture of in time.  One was a weird little convertible police car that was parked next to the Ruby Tuesday in Ormond beach.  THERE WAS A STORM TROOPER IN IT.  As I was writing this post I googled “storm trooper in Daytona” and this popped up!  Of course a picture of this made it to instagram!

The other thing was a sign for a pawn shop on Ridgeway, down toward the Port Orange area–their marquee read: WE BUY SMART PHONE TAXIDERMY TABLETS. Doesn’t get much better than that in signage!  ❤

These animals are certainly NOT taxidermied.

(Patti Smith and Duck get frisky with their friend; Fraidy hides.)

While mom and I were gone, Mr. Smith took care of the cats.  As and extra thanks (besides the silly touristy trinkets) I took him out to eat at Saigon Garden.  I got this fortune!  Haha!  We certainly did have a pleasant trip.  As a side note, if you live in the area and like Asian food, you MUST go to Saigon Garden.  I always get the V#6: fried tofu with rice noodles, cucumber, bean sprout, and peanuts.  Go ahead and drool over the menu.

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Sunday was race day down in Daytona.  Back in the old days when my mom and granddaddy would go to the race, my grandmother and I would stay at the condo.  I told y’all about the writing in the sand trick (boy it sure didn’t work this year!) but there is another tradition I forgot until about lunch time yesterday: Macaroni and Cheese.  We always had fancy boxed shells and cheese for lunch on race day.  I had no boxed stuff at home, but I did have the goods to make it from scratch. (I promise to do a post about making it from scratch some day soon because it is SO GOOD.)  I had a random bag of lemon pasta from Aldi that I used since that was all I had.  Dang if I wish I hadn’t bought more bags of it!  Typical.  Anyway, here are some pics of the end product.

That’s about it for my vacation wrap up.  Happy Monday to everyone!