Another Pleasant Valley Sunday.

Dear Internet: How are you? I am fine.

(All the letters in my youth began that exact same way. I fancied myself quite the creative writer yet could not seem to summon a more interesting opening to my missives.)

I’m not really fine today. I’m distressed by the verdict in the news and distressed at the hatred and anger that’s being expressed in comments to news stories on the Internet and, more personally, in my Facebook Newsfeed. I have managed to stay out of the fray for the most part but I still hate the divisive crap that’s populating my screen right now. I’m sad that a young man is dead.  I get sad anytime it becomes obvious that there’s such a huge rift in opinions in this country, regarding race, regarding gun control, regarding what’s okay and decent to say out loud and what feelings you should be ashamed to voice.

That’s all. I just wanted to voice that, for the record.

On a happier note, I finally met my blog friend Shara from Monkeybox! Y’all, it could not have been any more perfect: I went to a yard sale in her ‘hood, and as I was driving towards it, I said to my Mom, “I’m sure Shara got anything that was good here already.” As I walked up the driveway, I heard someone chatting with the owner of the sale about GINGHAM. If you’re a regular reader of Shara’s blog (and why wouldn’t you be, I would like to know), you know that Shara is nuts about gingham. I said, “Well, I know who you are!” and after two years of being pen-pals, we finally got to give each other a hug. And sure enough, she had pilfered some good stuff from this sale: a big stack of old, pretty books and, even better, four giant pieces of  flour sack fabric. That’s okay, as it was her territory I was encroaching on. The lady who was having the sale had to listen to our whole long story about how we met and now she wants to start a blog, too! If you’re reading this, ma’am, I hope you do. It might bring wonderful people like Shara into your life.

That was on Friday, a Very Bad Day, as every day is these days, as we are potty training. Everyone gives me the “ooooh, twins, that must be SO HARD” comments when they find out about my kids but secretly I’ve always thought it was probably harder to have two kids of differing ages. Mine at least eat the same thing, sleep the same hours, are on the same developmental path, and that has to be easier than having say a toddler and a newborn. UNTIL POTTY TRAINING. This is sheer hell and sometimes I just have to get the hell out of the house, which is how I ended up going to a few sales on Friday with my Mom (who was visiting for the week, thank God) and the little peeing devils in tow. It at least gave them another environment to pee and poop all over. On Thursday, I really took advantage of my Mom — I was fortunate enough to be asked to help my friends Kristie and Bailey, who have an estate sale company in Fayetteville (Rescuing the Past), with a sale. I was totally excited about it and probably shouldn’t have left my Mom all alone with potty training toddlers but I couldn’t resist it. It was nice to get out of the house for a day and so fun and educational to see what goes on behind the scenes of an estate sale. Those two (and Barb, their partner in crime) work their butts off — I don’t guess I ever really realized how tough it was to do an estate sale, but there is a TON of work that goes into it. And then for three days, they are just running, running, running. The sale was AWESOME — the family had owned a farm, and there were loads of primitives, chicken farming memorabilia, old hats, great furniture…the works. Their prices are really, really reasonable and among the lowest I’ve ever seen at an estate sale. Of course I couldn’t just work without purchasing a few items, could I?

How adorable is this little milking stool??? So cute and sturdy. It was only $12! I absolutely adore it. I’m going to use it for display in the booth but it will definitely have a NFS tag on it.

Shara got some of these some time back and I’ve been jealous of them ever since. My Mom had a few of these when I was little and I remember looking at them, thinking that maybe they could teach me to be a famous artist. The instruction in the book is really so funny — it shows you in like four panels how to get to the paintings it uses as examples. Yes, that’s all you need, folks, is four steps to your very own masterpiece. But the illustrations are so pretty.

I also got four of the cutest vintage little boy bow ties you have ever seen. I really wanted them the first day but I already felt so greedy with the other stuff I got…when they didn’t sell the second day, I asked Kristie to put them back for me. And I’m so glad I did. Because BEHOLD THE WONDER THAT IS JACK IN A BOW TIE:


I know he looks slightly ridiculous in this get-up, but as I said to my Mom, if you can’t dress them wacky at two, when can you? He HATED the shirt and how tight it was around his neck, but he LOVED the bow tie. Emme always gets bows in her hair and I think he thought it was high time he got his own. Still, he didn’t like the feel of everything so tight around his neck and kept trying to take it off….until I offered him the reward of a cupcake if he kept it on. Because I am a bad, bad mother and the pursuit of vintage cuteness outweighs my good sense.

Bottom line on Rescuing the Past: if you’re anywhere near the Fayetteville area, go to their FB page (linked above) and “like” them so you get notified of their upcoming sales. Not only are their sales great and competitively priced but they are the NICEST people on the face of the planet and you will feel downright happy about giving them your money.

So today I tried to figure out what to put in that glass-fronted shelf, which was harder than I expected it to be. I finally decided I wanted to try and use it exclusively for my matte white pottery collection. But I thought it looked boring with just that, so I threw some books and hats in there as well.

But it looks too messy and busy now, doesn’t it?

HELP ME, INTERNET, YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE. Take everything but the white pottery out? What is your recommendation?

I have GOT to get up and get something done. Hope your Sunday was lovely.

July 14, 2013 - 9:50 pm

Shannon I definitely like the other stuff in there! It would be too boring with just the pottery…the way you have it makes it look interesting!

July 14, 2013 - 11:02 pm

Shara Well, you are just TOO kind and sweet. It was a pleasure to hug your neck! *Note to self: Don’t talk about Gingham so much. Actually, I take that back – if it wasn’t for that gingham tablecloth, I wouldn’t have started yapping and you wouldn’t have heard me and then I wouldn’t have been able to hug your neck.

The Estate Sale was a good one – so many interesting things in that house. I hope everything went to good homes. I kind of felt like a big loser with a Capital “L for only spending $3.00 there.

Jack is adorable in that tie. I think it is hilarious that he had been wanting a bow all this time. Poor deprived little guy.

I like the cabinet with all white pottery. But, I am an all white pottery kind of gal. Lock that cabinet up and throw a sheet over it if I ever come over. I will be filling up my pockets.

That is all.

July 14, 2013 - 11:04 pm

Shara Oh, that is not all. Not to add injury to insult, but I got SIX feedsacks at that sale.

July 15, 2013 - 8:36 am

Linda @ A La Carte It is gorgeous and I love the whit pottery and hats! I might take out the really bright colors that draw the eye but otherwise, love it. Oh my Grandson is two and potty training this summer. I can’t imagine with twins and get the urge to flee for sure. Glad you met Shara she is how I found your blog!


July 15, 2013 - 6:41 pm

Kathy Epley Lara Jo, So glad you got to meet your friend! I know a gal with 2 yr. old twin girls – just had their bdays a week ago, so if you need another mom’s input on the p-training, let me know. Remember: ‘and this, too, shall pass.’ They will eventually get what they need to do, and you will all be excited about it. YAY!! Love the tie on your darling boy, and I think cupcakes are a perfectly reasonable means to getting your way, Mom. =) I think getting those pictures was worth it. Love your cabinet with all your pieces of white pottery, and adding those great hats, and some stacks of books just adds a bit more interest and color. Maybe use shorter stacks with short pottery pieces on top, but I love that you have vintage with other vintage… You have seen how coverless books are stacked together and tied with a bit of thin twine; or maybe a set of old children’s books would work. Again, I liked the addition of color to your cabinet. And I would choose to use books that I don’t need to pull out or use often. Kathy

July 18, 2013 - 3:45 pm

Jane hightower I love the cabinet the way you have it.

July 20, 2013 - 10:00 pm

Lara Jo THANK YOU, Kathy! You are always so encouraging and full of helpful advice! I am in the process of re-arranging the cabinet, and I think your suggestions are good ones. I’ll do a little here, a little there, then live with it for a day or two. Eventually it will become PERFECT, right??

July 20, 2013 - 10:02 pm

Lara Jo Thank you, Linda! I hope it’s going well for your Grandson…we are still having accidents fairly frequently but nothing will ever be as bad as those first three days, so at least we’re over that hump. Hope your summer is going well! Just saw those chairs you snagged on your blog…from here, it looks like your summer is going REALLY well! Congratulations on your find!