Go to Southern Accents for Awesome Architectural Treasures!

Southern Accent  308 2nd Avenue SE Cullman, Alabama.

Southern Accent
308 2nd Avenue SE
Cullman, Alabama.

On Saturday, I took a road trip to Cullman, Alabama so that I could go visit a well-known store there called “Southern Accents.” (Be sure to check them out! http://www.sa1969.com)

Cullman is considered to be a small town, but not in my book. I mean, if Jachin is regarded as an unincorporated community, and Butler only has about 2,000 people who live there, I call Cullman a metro, in comparison! It has a Wal-mart and a McDonalds. Those franchises are the standard for what I call “big.”

Back to Southern Accents. I’m not really sure that it should be called “a store.” It is actually this huge ware-house. A treasure trove for those who like to dig through old architectural pieces. There are tons of old doors that you can use for doors or to up-cycle as primitive tables. And they are so nice and helpful…even if you’re only planning to buy something small like these beautiful tiles that came from a huge home in Arkansas.

Just wait 'til you see what I do with these!

Just wait ’til you see what I do with these!

I met the nicest couple who found a beautiful old mantle to put in their new house that they are building. There are a bunch of old mantles, but this one looked ready for installation. Its wood was shiny, and it looked like it wouldn’t have to be stripped or sanded.
I saw old wooden planks that could be used on your walls or floors. They could also be used as wall art, tables, or anything else that you can think of. I may have to go back there soon to pick up some of that! My fellow-bloggers, the Palmers—from another town in rural south Alabama, once re-did a whole wall with up-cycled wood from Southern Accents. You can see the amazing results at http://theletteredcottage.net/reading-room-redo/. I love their site!

Planks galore...limitless possibilities!

Planks galore…limitless possibilities!

I’m running out of time before I have to post and then go pick up Princess Buttercup from school, so I’ll try to post more on another day. I may have to post every day this week with all of the things that I found in Cullman. It is a really neat little town with lots of cool boutiques and artsy stores. I went for Southern Accents, and found so much more!

Courtyard leads to another warehouse that's packed with stuff.

Courtyard leads to another warehouse that’s packed with stuff.

Dirt bike.  Pun intended.

Dirt bike. Pun intended.

Cedar door with a history.

Cedar door with history.

Personal doorknob collection.  Not on sale, but on display.

Personal doorknob collection. Not on sale, but on display.

Brass door knobs by the hundreds.

Brass door knobs by the hundreds.

I totally want this!

I totally want this!

Alabama Football Insanity

My Auburn friend Van and I show our team spirit.  See, we canall be friends.

My Auburn friend, Van, and I show our team spirit. See, we can all be friends.

Everything that you’ve ever heard about fanaticism over college football in the state of Alabama is true. It can get kind of crazy.

Mom and Dad both graduated from the University of Alabama, and Ben and I used to be able hear them screaming for the Tide during the games…and we’d be clear across the pasture.

I’m the same way. I love myself some Alabama football. Oddly enough, my parents never took me to a game when I was a child. It was probably too expensive.

No, the first time that I stepped foot on Legion Field or Bryant-Denny Stadium was when I marched in there. I was in the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band. (Love to write the whole thing out…it’s just so sounds so grand.)

Over the years, though, I have a different perspective. When I think of the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide, I mostly think of memories. It’s not just about football, you see. I think of the Quad (quadrangle), Denny Chimes sounding across the campus on a frosty morning, the Dogwoods in the spring.

I wonder if most people know that it is an institution of higher learning. That there are lovely buildings with Greek-revival columns. That we have an amazing school of communications, business, education, and so forth.

Sometimes the whole silly rivalry thing gets me frustrated. There have been times that I’ve mentioned my school, and someone has said, “There’s just one thing that I don’t like about Bama…” And then they’ll go on to say something like we’re just a bunch of rednecks or that someone keyed their car at a Bama game or something.


One time, my dad was in another state, wearing an Alabama cap. Some random guy said to him, “Alabama (meaning the football team) hasn’t got nuthin’ this year.” At least Dad calmly said, “We’ll see.”

Some of the nicest people just seem to forget the Golden Rule, when it comes to college football.

People. It’s just a game.

But, what's this?  Oh, no!

But, what’s this? Oh, no!

Speaking on the other hand, a loony Alabama fan went over to our biggest rival’s (Auburn University) campus one night. And do you know what he did? The man went to Toomer’s Corner, and guys…he poured poison over their old oak trees that Auburn rolls with toilet paper after big wins.

As a big tree-hugger, I (and most other law-abiding Alabamians) was appalled. Rolling Toomer’s Corner was a lovely and fun tradition that has been going on forever.

Owww!  A vicious fight breaks out at Starbucks!  With two respectable mommies.  Oh, the shame!

Owww! A vicious fight breaks out at Starbucks! With two respectable mommies. Oh, the shame!

I really do like Auburn, even though we are big rivals. If someone offers Princess Buttercup a scholarship there one day, I’ll be like, “War Eagle, baby!” Not to mention, my brother Ben and his wife graduated from there. It’s a beautiful campus, and it has its own uniqueness about it.

But back to the state of AL and its love of football. Rivalries are fun, but the insanity is not unique to the south.

Brazil vs. Argentina and Liverpool vs. Manchester United – England (soccer), Australia vs. New Zealand (rugby), Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, the Tour de France, Wimbledon… comes to mind.

So whoever you root for this week end, let’s just be nice.

And Roll Tide!
[Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEg7GRiZWyA to hear our fight song.]

War Eagle!

Go Vols!

Geaux Tigers!

Go Buckeyes!

Boomer Sooner!

Woooooo Pig, Sooie!

Go Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler!

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Sprocket meets the write Steph.

Sprocket meets the write Steph.

I had just finished college in the early 90’s, and I did not know what to do with myself. I had been a Family Studies major, and I was too class-weary to go on to graduate school at the time.

Not to mention that I was broke.

So I moved back home to Jachin, in rural south Alabama.

Moving back home, to a rural community, after being so social at college was extremely hard. Extremely. If I wanted to go hang out with friends, I had to drive 2 hours back to Tuscaloosa or travel hours to see my buddies.

One of my good friends, Melanie, was living in Chattanooga and teaching school. She started listening to this cool, local alternative radio station. Boys and girls, before it was “grunge,” it was called “alternative music,” and Melanie got me into it by sending me tapes that she made for me.

[By the way, my friend is Melanie Dickerson, author of several books by Zondervan. Her new book, The Captive Maiden, comes out on October 22nd. http://www.melaniedickerson.com/books.html. I’m very proud of her! She comes from a small, rural town in south Alabama, too.]

One of the bands that Melanie recorded for me was “Toad the Wet Sprocket.”

So when Princess Buttercup suggested “Sprocket” as a name for our rescued pup, Lefty and I both liked it. “It’s like that band, you know, ‘Love & Sprockets,’” I told them.

Lefty meets Sprocket.

Lefty meets Sprocket.

Lefty said that he’d never heard of it before. And Lefty knows a lot of bands. I looked it up online.


Toad the Wet Sprockets.

So that’s what we named this adorable waif of a pup.

Scared little pup hides his head on the way home to Alabama.

Scared little pup hides his head on the way home to Alabama.

Poor little guy. He was found abandoned somewhere in Tennessee or Kentucky and a lady called the shelter about him. He needed a loving, patient home. Snuggles needed a dog companion after losing her bestie, Samson.
Sprocket is very scared of people. But even after 2 days, he is much better because of Snuggles and TLC from our family.
Snuggles and Sprocket like to play.

Snuggles and Sprocket like to play.

We will always love and miss Samson. He will never be forgotten.
But now we can share the loving home that we have—with a little puppy who needs us. (More on Friday.)

Just wook at me now, ev'wybody!

Just wook at me now, ev’wybody!

Seeing Green

The big, bad green machine.  Se the little key where you would load the stamps and then lock them up?

The big, bad green machine. Se the little key where you would load the stamps and then lock them up?

First of all, thank you to my seller friends at eBay for sharing their Green Stamps photos with me. I encourage my readers to go buy from these people if you are looking for vintage Green Stamps memorabilia. I am going to post their eBay sites at the bottom of today’s post. Also thanks to Meg at http://soupisnotafingerfood.wordpress.com/ for her vintage stamp machine picture. Please go visit her cool site when you have a minute.

Mom emailed me some information about Green Stamps that I thought you would like for Monday’s blog. Really, Mom is a great source about what went on in Jachin. For awhile, she wrote a column in “the Choctaw Advocate” that was called “Jachin Jots.” The “Advocate” was the local periodical that came out every Thursday. More on that, later.


Here is what Mom wrote me after reading my Green Stamps post:

We bought S & H Green Stamps. We gave them to customers when they bought groceries. [For] a reward. For each dollar they spent, we gave one little stamp.

Since our rural customers rarely went to Meridian, MS, our nearest town with an S & H store, we would take their books in for them and redeem the stamps for a gift.

This was time consuming, but we wanted them to get sheets, pans and pots, dishes, curtains, etc., for their homes. I can still see Aunt Dossie with a paper bag full of S &H stamps.

She would rip them apart, wet them with a wet sponge, and stick them into books. We had a truck full of gifts when we got back home from that store. I’ll bet you and Ben went with me, too.

We also took Food Stamps. They were kind of like little Monopoly dollars. They could only be used for food. The customer separated the food items from clothing, medicine, gas, animal feed, hardware, etc. This was a bit time consuming, but no real problem. In later years, we also participated in the WIC program. I was teaching school most of the time, but (I think) this stood for “Women, Infants and Children.” The qualifying people would come in with a “voucher” to fill.


Check out this picture of the prize book. I’ll bet the model lady has never really played the guitar before. I play the guitar, and I wouldn’t attempt a chord with long nails!


My friends who were nice enough to share their photos (in order of appearance on post):

Green Machine
Meg at Soup is not a Finger Food. What a fun blog name! More about Green Stamps here…
http://soupisnotafingerfood.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/sometimes-my-life-feels-like-a-house-of-cards/ Thank you, Meg!

Vintage Stamp Book — 1969 “S&H” GREEN STAMPs
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/STAMP-BOOK-VINTAGE-1969-S-H-GREEN-STAMP-10s-50s-FOLDER-3-1-2-X-6-FULL-/350876375580?ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:CA:1123 Thanks, Bruce!

Idea Book Catalog
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251340721562&ssPageName=ADME:X:eRTM:US:1123 Thanks, Jim!

Collectible 1960’s Filled S&H Green Stamps Quick Saver Book
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=121164840698&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123 Thank you, Marlinkc!