Getting Sweetgum House Gussied up for Christmas!

Hi everyone, I’m getting Sweetgum House gussied up for Christmas!  I went to photograph some local shops for a real estate blog I write for and ended up buying some stuff, myself.  The places that I shop sell unique items, which is definitely what I’m looking for.

Check out this sign!

shop local sign

I love to shop local because my parents also had a non-chain store back in south Alabama when I was growing up.  We used to sell all sorts of toys around Christmas, along with the usual stuff you find in one of those old general merchandise stores.  Our store was like the Olson’s store on “Little House on the Prairie.”  We sold groceries, bags of nails, cattle feed, salt blocks, clothes, tools…you name it.  It was a fun place to hang out in with all the customers coming in, the cash register dinging, and KL and Aunt Maybelle snapping opening the paper bags to load them up with goods.

I digress!

Like I said, I couldn’t resist this tin bucket from Jacklyn’s Keepsakes in Madison.  I heard or read that Joanna Gaines recommends 3-dimensional wall art. Well, this little bucket fit the bill. I’m going to get Lefty to hang it for me in the house, and I can swap out the berries for seasonal flowers as the year progresses.

tin bucket with decoration

My little tin bucket for flowers.

I’m determined to make my cookie-cutter, subdivision Sweetgum home into something charmingly farmhouse-ish.

Christmas decoration

Cotton Christmas from Jacklyn’s Keepsakes

 

Christmas balls decoration

I thought these little glass balls from Madison Station Antiques were so pretty.

Noble Passage Interiors has a ton of elegant Christmas decor like this beautiful Nativity scene. I’m definitely going back for some of their ornaments!

Sweet, Silent Night

Wait! Just one more thing…This, I found at Target (obviously not local) and posted on Instagram. My parents used to take us camping all the time, and I just love this vintage decoration that represents our camping life.

CrimsonCamper

So what about you? What’s your favorite decoration that makes your life around Christmas time a little bit jolly? I’d love to hear from you from all over the country! Do you have a Christmas theme to gussy up your home around Christmas?

Note:  I didn’t receive any compensation for posting about these retailers.

Halloween Memories

WonderWoman

Well, it’s Trick-or-Treat time again, and Princess Buttercup and her friends are ready!

This year they are going to dress up like characters in Steven Universe and hit several neighborhoods.

Last year, one of the dads put on a scary mask and overcoat and started following us from way back. If we would stop, he would stop. It was so freaky. When we got back to the hostess’s house, he came right up to one of the girls in the group.

I was ready to pounce on the guy and protect the girl with every bit of the mother bear instinct inside me.

Then he took off his mask, and the girl was like, “Dad!!!”

Witch

I remember having a green witch mask one year.

Do you remember wearing those plastic masks with the little circle breathing hole in the mouth and nostrils?

Those things were hard to breath in, got sweaty (icky!!!), and my long blond hair always got tangled in the elastic band that held the mask on.

What are your favorite Halloween memories?

***

Thanks so much to the following eBay sellers for being so kind and giving me permission to post their masks:

Yellowildflowers for Wonder Woman mask.

3rdflrretro for witch mask.

 

 

Summers on Grandma’s Farm

GrayBarn1

A gray barn like Papa’s. I took this picture near Springfield, MO.

When I was a girl growing up in south Alabama, my parents would take my brother and I up to north Alabama to attend Maywood Christian Camp for a week, and then my dad’s parents would pick us up and take us to their farm for another week.

Maywood7

My cabin at Maywood Christian Camp.

North Alabama is further from the Gulf of Mexico than my home town, thereby being a lot less humid, which was nice!

I’m sure the first day back from camp was spent resting up, we would attend church on Sunday, and then the rest of the week was full of wide-open possibilities!

Farm_tractor

Farm equipment on my cousin’s farm. My cousin now owns my grandparents’ farm.

Grandma always took us into town, which is Russellville, Alabama, a much bigger town than what we were used to.

She would buy us each a toy at TWL, and we would go to a big grocery store.

Since my parents owned a general store in Jachin, we weren’t used to going grocery shopping, which was great fun! We loved to help pick snacks and sugary cereals that we would consume during the week.

Then we would head back to our grandparents’ farm, and eventually end up playing in their great big gray barn, which was stocked with hay, spider webs, and so much dust.

Our parents would come and get us at the end of the week.  We were always so glad to see them and missed them so much!

We would go back home to our own piece of Alabama, which had an entirely different culture and it’s own rendition of an Alabama farm.

cropped-thepond1.jpg

Our south Alabama farm.

 

A Pony for Christmas!

Ponies for Christmas!

Ponies for Christmas!

One overcast December 15th, when I was a girl growing up in rural south Alabama, I got a pony for Christmas.

I’ll never forget that morning.

Aunt Joyce and her kids came that Saturday morning for pancakes. It was a tradition that we all enjoyed whenever Aunt Joyce and the cousins came all the way from Birmingham to visit Grandmother and Papa Lindsey. It was Christmas time, and it would turn out to be a day that I would not forget. Not even 35 years later.

Mom had told my brother, David, and I that she wanted to take a unique picture after we had finished our pancakes. That wasn’t unusual, since Mom has always been a big shutterbug—just like me. Mom told us that we were to walk outside with Aunt Joyce hiding our eyes with her hands. To get just the right camera shot, Aunt Joyce would remove her hands, we were to open our eyes, and Mom would take the photo with my little Polaroid One-Step camera that I got on my 9th birthday.

Aunt Joyce walked David and I outside, with her hands covering our eyes. David and I giggled the entire way, I’m sure.

When she removed our blinders, there, before our amazed eyes was Dad with two beautiful ponies on the other side of our fence.

Here is the picture that Mom took of our amazed faces.

Surprise!

Surprise!

David looks completely shocked. I am smiling broadly. See, I thought Dad had somehow brought the ponies for us to ride just for the day. It took about a second of explaining before I realized that they were ours!!!
Every year, on December 15th, I remember that day and wish my family a Happy Pony Day.

So today, dear Readers, I wish you a very

Happy Pony Day!

Climbing the fence in a flurry of hugs, explanations, and warm ponies.

Climbing the fence in a flurry of hugs, explanations, and warm ponies.