My Christmas Nervous Breakdowns

This is a true story about My Christmas Nervous Breakdowns. And yes, I’ve had more than one over the past three days.

Christmas Nervous Breakdown lady

Starting early this past week. If you know me, you know how I love to make homemade and creative gifts. Furthermore, I’m a conservative. We recycle, re-use, upcycle whenever possible.

So, I was busy making teacher Christmas gifts for Princess Buttercup’s teachers. I was in the midst of lining the inside of a used whole kernal corn can with a ripped paper bag. Somehow, I got burned by the hot glue gun. I yanked my right hand out of the can, and the bag strip wrapped around two of my fingers. My closest family and friends know that when I’m in real pain, I don’t say anything. I jumped from my chair and dashed to my kitchen sink. The only thing that helped for the next hour was cold water.

I’d say that was my first Christmas nervous breakdown.

I gave up on lining the cans with paper. Bad idea. The next night, I only glued the exterior of the cans. That worked a lot better, but I ended up burning my left thumb. Ouch!

I gave up on the glue gun and started using decoupage glue and Modge Podge, instead. They worked fine.

upcycled can

My third Christmas Nervous Breakdown occurred yesterday around 2:45 p.m. I was on the frontage road, preparing to get to Parkway Place Mall in Huntsville. The story of my life–I was stuck in traffic. I mean, really s-t-u-c-k. The light would turn green, only to allow two or three cars to go. Sweet.

Let’s put it this way, I’d already spent an hour or two traversing Whitesburg (nightmare) Drive, only to find two of the presents I was searching for.

So I sat there in traffic. Suddenly, I say, “I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. Right. Here. In. The. Middle. Of. Huntsville!”

Just to clarify. I didn’t start screaming or anything crazy like that. My nervous breakdowns tend to be mild and internal. Probably not the healthiest of nervous breakdowns. But at that moment, I couldn’t have hopped out alongside the Parkway and jogged in place. Wouldn’t have been prudent.

So at first chance, I turned around. I did realize it was going to take an hour or so to get home. But at least I was heading out of town.

But at that time, everyone from Redstone Arsenal was getting off work early. Everyone from Research Park was leaving early. Not to mention the thousands of city/county school employees who were already on the road, searching for those last-minute gifts.

There was a wreck on I-565. There was a wreck on Highway 72. Every artery in and around town was clogged. I took a few deep breaths and did some praying for patience. I told myself that I’d eventually get home.

I tried a shortcut around one of the wrecks and think it took me longer than if I’d sat in place.

Finally, I did get home. The rest of the shopping would have to wait. I’ll admit I binged on Stacy chips and humus. Alright, I did have a couple of cookies, too.

I also realized my problem: perfectionism.

Instead of settling for “good enough,” I was seeking Eden on Earth. And that went away a long time ago.

Lefty and Princess Buttercup volunteered to help me wrap some presents.

“Christmas,” said Lefty, “Is about survival…not perfection.”

Wise words.

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Pearls for Christmas

How about Pearls for Christmas this year?

Last Thursday, my In-Loves took me to Loretto, Tennessee to look for Pearls.  Pearls for the Home is a little home décor shop established back in November by Vickie Bosheers.  Vickie’s husband is a friend and colleague of my husband’s dad.

exterior of pearls shop

A Mighty Fine Welcome

Vickie gave us a big southern welcome and invited us to enjoy complimentary coffee and goodies.  While munching on  homemade cookies and  fudge, we browsed Vickie’s store’s shelves, stocked with dishes, candles, dish towels, Christmas ornaments, home accents, and gifts.  Many of Vickie’s products come from local artists.

Because both of Vickie’s grandmothers were named Pearl, Vickie named her shop after those great ladies.  In addition, Vickie says that pearls are the epitome of simple elegance. Simple elegance radiates throughout the shop and and outside with the simple mint green exterior paint teamed with the raw wood.  Vickie is and expert on simple elegance.  She was one of the first two graduates at the University of North Alabama to receive a degree in interior design. .
After years of teaching Vocational Home Economics in secondary education, Vickie left the school system and later opened Pearls in the old Putman’s Barber Shop.

ceramic santa at Pearls

Hey, Santa…Need a shave and a haircut??

Demo Day

The Bosheers put in a tremendous amount of sweat equity to transform the old building into the cute little shop it is today.  Vickie says the place was filthy and “there was a lot of rot and deterioration in the building.”  She adds, “The carpenter did a really good job.”  Mr. Bosheers also did a lot of carpentry work.  “We had a lot of wood in the barn,” says Vickie.  “People will say ‘we’ve got a tree down.’  He’ll go saw it up for them and keep the wood in our barn.”

The barn wood used on one of the big shelving units in Pearls is from a barn in Maury County, Tennessee.

Vickie found and salvaged the barber shop’s mirror that hangs over the fireplace mantle and reflects the shimmering mercury glass Christmas décor.

Putman’s Barber Shop

As the sign outdoors says, Putman’s continuously operated as a barber shop from 1928 until 2001.

While my in-loves and I shopped, a lady and her husband came into the store. The lady said that she had once lived in the house next door while her father ran the barber shop.  She showed us where the barber’s chairs were located and where customers would sit and wait their turn.

Puttman's sign at Pearls

What I Couldn’t Resist

As you may know, we bought Sweetgum House 18 months ago.  I’m slowly, slowly trying to turn it from an track house to a home for our family.

So, the minute I saw a pair of rustic hanging lights, I knew I had to have them in Sweetgum House.  Little additions like this will help bring a little character to our place.  As soon as I figure out how I want Lefty to hang them, I’ll post pictures.  I’ve got an idea, but I may have to ask my Dad-in-love for some of his old wood that he’s got laying around in his collection.

vintage red truck at Pearls

The Rest of the Story

After making my purchase at Pearl’s, Vickie suggested we go eat at Nana’s Pizzeria on Broad Street.  My in-loves and I enjoyed delicious from-scratch pizza that was cooked in a traditional stone oven.  The next day, I was inspired to use Loretto in my short story, Kaitlyn’s Christmas.

After church on Sunday, Lefty, Princess Buttercup, and I had Sunday lunch with Mom and Dad.  Mom asked, “Did you know your Grandmother M was born in Loretto, Tennessee?”

I had no idea!

home decor at Pearls

Visit Pearls on Facebook or at 206 2nd Avenue South in Loretto, Tennessee.

So what is your favorite thing from Pearls?  I’d love to hear from you! 🙂


more home decor at Pearls

Pearls window decor

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Legal stuff:
I did not receive compensation for posting about this business.

Top Ten Christmas Activities

What are your top ten Christmas activities?  I’m listing mine below  (in no particular order) and would love to hear from you!  Merry Christmas, and God bless us, everyone!

window_wreath_Christmas

Decorating the Christmas Tree and our whole house for Christmas.

I so enjoy home décor, period, but I get so much joy in pulling out meaningful ornaments and making my Christmas trees pretty.  I had planned to buy another tree for my dining room, but they were so expensive that I decided to wait for the after-Christmas sales.

Fortunately, my next-door-neighbors were tossing their tree because the lights weren’t working anymore.  They said I could have it, so I drug it across the street and put new lights on it.  I used only silver ornaments, while we used the other ornaments on our living room tree.  My “silver tree” is so beautiful–one of the prettiest I’ve ever had.  It lights up the whole dining room with it’s white lights and silver elegance.  (At least I think so!)

dish_foliage

Hearing my husband read the story of Jesus’s birth in Luke 2:1-20.

The story of Jesus’s birth is so beautiful.  The verses are like a balm in their rhythm and the hope they give us in our world.  I think people are more generous and kind at this time of year because so much is focused on our Lord, the Light of our complex world.

church_ornament

Baking Christmas goodies

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Grandmother Lindsey (who lived just across the pasture from us, when I was growing up in rural south Alabama) used to always make the best in sweet Christmas goodies.  My favorite were her date balls, fudge, and divinity.  When I was supposed to be practicing the piano, I’d go swipe a piece between songs.  But I think she knew about it! 😉

Shopping for Christmas gifts for everyone.

Carefully selecting Christmas gifts for everyone is a favorite hobby of mine.  I like to get the best gifts at the best prices and be a good steward of my cash.

Santas1_edited-1

Crafting hand-made presents for family and friends.  Being crafty in wrapping gifts.

I am in my element, my happy place, my zone when I’m making presents for family, friends, and Princess Buttercup’s teachers.  Furthermore, I like adding just a little bit of creativity when wrapping my gifts.  I’d better get on it, actually.  I’ve got only 2 weeks till show time!

Singing Christmas carols.

We went caroling last year.  I did that for the first time when I was in college and loved it!  I want to get a brave group to sing in our new (as of June 2016) neighborhood.  Any volunteers?

Spending time with family and friends.

Spending time with those I love makes Christmas a special time for bonding and building memories.  It’s the time of the year that Lefty takes time off of work, and Princess Buttercup and I love that!

Opening presents.

I’ve gotta be honest…opening presents is just plain fun!

silver_ornament

Silver snowflake, a gift from my friend Kibbers.

Attending all the parties and eating all the good food!

We southerners are known for our food.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the feasting.

SouthernLivingChristmas2017

Smiling and saying, “Merry Christmas” to people I meet.
</h1>Like I said for my second activity on the list, people are so much friendlier around Christmas time.  True, traffic can be a nuisance.  And true, we’re southerners, and people from other places say that we’re friendly, anyway.  But I think people are kinder around Christmas because so many more are thinking of the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

Pimentos for Christmas

Pimentos for Christmas

Each year around Christmas, I give my husband a picture wish list of what I want from Pimentos. My friend Teresa owns the unique little gift shop, located in Athens, Alabama.

Okay, Lefty, here’s my wish list! 🙂

Sold the Farm

Barn ornament
Ever heard the expression, “He sold the farm?” I think it means someone sold something way under value. As you all probably know by now, I’m from a farm in southwest Alabama. We didn’t have a red barn like this, but I can now if I get it for Christmas! (Hint, hint!) ;-p  Pimentos has a lot of these cotton ball stems in their store.  I find it very apropos for the little Athens store since several of my Athens relatives had to pick cotton for a living back in the 30’s and 40’s.

Charms, Glorious Charms

charms for bracelets

Pimentos has charms of all shapes and sizes. I especially like their pearls, since I’m a pearl girl.

charms for bracelets

This is only a small sample of Pimentos charms. They have charms of crosses, animals, hobbies, and letters. I think I got my niece a rhinestone initial one year.

charms for bracelets

charms for bracelets

And other Jewelry

costume jewelry
Cute stuff, right here!

Christmas Ornaments and Decor

Dog Ornaments and Decor

I couldn’t resist. I bought this little dog for Princess Buttercup and gave it to her yesterday.



lantern Ornaments and Decor

Just don’t leave the lantern in the barn!



chicken with hay bale Ornaments and Decor

Bock! Bock!



Ornaments and Decor


angel Ornaments and Decor

Elegant angel.



Rejoice Ornaments and Decor


reindeer Ornaments and Decor


These gold Christmas trees are so elegant. Arrange three together, add some cotton stems, and display with some twigs and pine cones from outside.  Oh, so pretty!

elegant Ornaments and Decor


elegant Ornaments and Decor


Ornaments and Decor


Ornaments and Decor

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Note: I didn’t receive anything for promoting Pimentos in Athens, Alabama. I just hope you’ll stop by because Teresa is a sweet friend of mine, and I love her locally-owned store. If you had to choose, what is your favorite thing from the Pimentos pictures.