The Best of the Best Flea Market Edition

When I was younger my parents would take me to various flea markets, and I hated it. Nothing interested me, but since I was along for the ride I couldn’t complain. I remember being in middle school and we went to one. We came home with guineas. Not the pigs, but the fowls (birds). The idea was that these birds were going to help with the tick population that we had in our yard. They didn’t last long at our house – the other wildlife we had decided they were good to feast on. And the ticks prevailed.

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During my early twenties I moved out of the house to live with a friend that needed help with bills, and I needed to get out. She was the one that first introduced me to the flea market in Nashville. Prior to this I don’t think I had ever gone to the state fairgrounds. She decided to take me to the “big one in October.” It was a group of us, and it was tons of fun. I got all of my Christmas shopping done on that trip to the flea market. I am one of those that LOVES to get my Christmas shopping done before November 1st if I can help it. Currently I have accomplished that except for Dustin’s immediate family – we get theirs on Black Friday.

This year at seven months pregnant I decided to go again. This has been dubbed the best one to go to if you are going to go to the flea market. There has to be over 500 vendors at this one with them being inside and outside. They pack the grounds. Brittany decided so that we wouldn’t have to walk far up the hill that we would get there when it opened. We got off the interstate around 6:45 AM, and once we got closer it was already backed up a little bit with people trying to get in to park.

Going in I didn’t know what I was looking for or if I was looking for anything at all. Dustin had given me a budget of what I could spend. When we arrived we went to the first set of vendors that were closest to us, it was at that point my bladder decided to stop working for the day. The good news is that Brittany knows where all the bathrooms are located so it wasn’t too terrible.

We make our way through all of the buildings. Brittany had to get some cups made that they do on the spot, but she has it down to a science as to what time she needs to hit them up so the cups will be ready when we leave. 5 hours later we are ready to hit the road. 5 hours later and this pregnant lady was exhausted.

I ended up getting items for dirty Santa that we do with one side of the family. I go back and forth every year with nice house items and funny gifts. This year was the nice house items. One of the ladies I purchased from was super sweet. She was talking to me about the nursery and what I had planned to do with it. We are doing baseball and American flags because well baseball is America’s favorite past time, and we love baseball. She said that when she was able to move into a house she was going to use her late husband’s fireman’s gear and memorabilia to set up a room for her grandsons. (Insert a few waterworks) It’s people like this that make going to the flea market also fun. I love talking to people that are personal, but then again I am super extroverted. Below is what I got for dirty Santa. I may play my cards where I get the TriStar to hang up in our home ūüôā

The other things that I purchased was some items to be used for little man’s newborn photography session. I have been going to¬†Pinterest¬†to get some ideas of what I liked. The ones I like use an old coke crate, and I was able to score one of those for fairly cheap. The best purchase of the day was a blanket that we will use for newborn pictures, and also use it as one of his blankets. It has all the old school NFL logos on it, including the Titans who were the Houston Oilers back in the day.

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I made it out of the flea market with a dollar to spare. There are some items I didn’t get pictures of, and the food that I purchased. When we left the amount of people that were there was about the same as the amount of people that were waiting in line on the interstate to go. There is three entrances to get in, and they were all crazy backed up. I am thankful that we got there when we did.

I probably won’t make it back to another flea market until next October. I have basically made this flea market my one and only time to go. The new fairgrounds are undecided since we are getting a MLS stadium at this location, but if you are ever in Nashville when it is time for the “big one in October” I highly recommend going to it. Just remember to get there early.

Master Closet Makeover

Does anyone besides me hate wire racks? I despise them. Our builder put them in when we first built our house, and it saved us a ton of money. I opted out on having a door put on our closet. So as soon as you walk into our bathroom you can see straight into our closet.

After about a year of walking into my bathroom, and looking at the wire racks I finally had enough of it. I couldn’t look at them any more. So I did what any “sane” person would do, I took them all down. I do not recommend doing this when you are disgusted with them – perhaps do it when you are calm. Lesson learned now.

When I pulled the wire racks out I had some massive holes left in the walls. I knew that drywall putty would help with that, and I wanted to paint the closet anyway. Off to Lowe’s I went to get paint, drywall putty, and something to sand with. This was my first time using drywall putty, and it will be my last. I am not a professional by any means. I got it patched, sanded, and painted. And then it set for some months, and we lived out of the closets in the front of the house.

I had a general idea of what I wanted when it came to making over my closet. I have a ton of makeup from where I used to sale Mary Kay I had also started a nice little collection of jewelry that a friend of mine sales, Plunder. I wanted a way to have them organized, and not be a hot mess all over my room, bathroom, and closet. So where did I turn? Pinterest of course!

I saved ideas from how I wanted the layout to look, and the way I wanted my jewelry and makeup to look. While I was looking at ideas for that I started looking for ways to organize my husbands hats that were hanging on the bathroom door. All of our accessories would be in the same location.

My father-in-law is a carpenter by trade so we enlisted him for help. He would build our closet, and everything would be organized more than it was. I showed him what I had found on Pinterest, and he ran with it. I am thankful that he went his way because I would not have enough room if we went my route of what I had pinned.

It took him a day to finish. The only thing we lack now is we have to add the hooks for the necklaces and the hats. Please do not judge on how the clothes look (ha!).

The baskets all came from Walmart. The bigger ones are Pioneer Woman, and the other ones are just regular wooden crates. I was able to move our dresser out of our room (which made our room more open), and use it for the little man as a changing table by using these baskets. We each have a big basket for our under garments, and the two wooden crates house our winter and summer items. I got the tin oval bucket that holds my earrings at dollar tree. The two little wooden crates came from Walmart hold my bracelets and my most used makeup. I am not sure if you can see it, but I also purchased at the dollar tree a little decorative cup that has little accent gems in there to hold my makeup brushes.

By putting my jewelry and makeup in the closet it has freed up a ton of space in my bathroom!¬†I am already looking at ways to take out the wire racks in our laundry room, but that won’t happen until our washer and dryer die. If you are interested in what I have in mind for the laundry room coming up follow me on¬†Pinterest!

Georgia On My Mind

Have you ever thought if you moved to a different place where that would be? I have. Many times actually. I have fallen in love with Colorado and parts of Canada. The places that I fall in love with tend to be small town USA (or Canada). There is one place that if I didn’t live in Tennessee it would be Sandersville, GA.

In 2006 I met my best friend Jill, who is more like a sister to me. She grew up in Sandersville, but was living in Tennessee at the time. Her and her family are HUGE Georgia Bulldog fans, and with me being a HUGE Vanderbilt fan we struck a deal back in 2014. When Vanderbilt played Georgia in Athens we would go to Athens, and when Georgia came to Nashville her brother would come up for that game.

Jill moved back home to Sandersville two years ago. Two years ago Vanderbilt was playing in Athens, but Dustin and I went down early to see Jill’s new house. I instantly fell in love with Sandersville. Like I said I am a sucker for small town USA, and Sandersville was no different. They have the town square, people sitting on their front porches, and the Mayberry like feeling. The thing that sets Sandersville apart is Dairylane.

Dairylane looks like your normal old school hamburger place on the outside. When you get inside you almost don’t believe the prices that it costs for their food – I mean let’s be honest where else can you get a delicious burger for a dollar and some change?!?! You also get to see the jerseys of former players that grew up in the town that went onto play in college and the pros. The milkshakes are heavenly too.

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What I also love about Sandersville is that they are all about some football. Fridays are all about Friday night lights, and Saturdays everyone is wearing their game day attire. The next trip to Sandersville will be in two years. Until then I will be dreaming of cheeseburgers and milkshakes from the dairylane.

Servant Leader

Have you ever met a servant leader in real life? We are told in the Bible that we should emulate Christ, but do we actually ever see it in action out in the World? I can honestly say I have seen it firsthand. And her name was Gilda.

When I was a Freshman in high school I had a crush on a fella that was a Senior. He was the President for Key Club, and was looking for people to join for the next year. I had no idea what Key Club was, but hey when a cute guy asks if you want to be apart of something how do you say no to him? August rolls around and we have our first Key Club meeting. This is when I met Gilda. Gilda was our local Kiwanis Club sponsor. She would come periodically to meetings, and invite us to local events that happened in the area. My first event that I had signed up for was the pancake breakfast. And I loved it. I have never had that much fun serving other people breakfast.

My Junior year I decided to run for President of Key Club. I got it, and I got to spend more time with Gilda through this – luncheons, conferences out of town, meetings at school. She was a blast. Her personality and her laugh were contagious. My Senior year I stepped down as President since I played sports year round, and it was hard for me to get people involved in afternoon activities when I couldn’t even go myself. I was still present for the monthly meetings, and I never missed the pancake breakfast.

The summer after my Senior year my parents had what we like to call a “coming to Jesus” meeting. They told me I had til I turned 18 to find a job or I was getting kicked out of the house. Talk about a shot to the heart…I thought I was going to have a free ride all the way through college. I had no idea where to start so I went and talked with Gilda. Gilda worked at a tuxedo store as a manager, but she had connections all over. When I walked in I was in shorts and a t-shirt, and slightly looked like I hadn’t bathed in a week. I told her what the conversation was that I had with my parents, and she offered me a job on the spot. She also told me I had to dress up for this job.

This was a job that was a blessing from the Lord. I learned so many life lessons from her while I worked there. She taught me that handwritten thank you notes go a long way, and people appreciate them, that the customer isn’t always right, and that if you listen and try to connect with the customer you might become friends for a long time – and yes that last one happened more often then not.

Not only was she managing the tuxedo shop she had a program that she had come up with. That program was called Ambassadors and it consisted of about 20 teenage boys. She taught them how to tie a tie, how to set a table, that community service is a must, and then she also had a dance team. These guys would be able to earn points which would go to their tuxedo rental. At first you could see that the guys were all about getting tuxedos for free, and then they transitioned into loving the community service and hanging out with Gilda. Throughout the year I would go along with the community service projects because Gilda knew that I loved it. When it came time for the prom fashion shows when the boys would dance that was not my cup of tea, but Gilda had taught me how to be able to run the store by myself. She trusted me with that huge responsibility.

Throughout the years I worked on and off for her. She supported me when I started adding jobs that took away from working with her. I started working at Starbucks, and also a small company called Sport Seasons as well as helping her out occasionally. There was a lot of nights that I would be there with just her. We would talk about life, sports, you name it we talked about it. One night we sat down to take a breather from the busy day we had, and we were listening to the radio. They were doing one of those contests where you could win free tickets to a concert. The question was “if you were the opposite sex for the day, what would you do?” Her response: “I’d be gay. I like boys too much.” Somehow I talked her into calling the radio station to give them that answer because it made me laugh. She ended up winning the tickets, and we went to see Gwen Stefani.

I was there when she decided to open up her own shop, and work for herself. She worked countless hours getting everything set up. When she finally got everything in order she broke the news to her boss, and took me and another girl with her. The saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, was a motto she lived by. She would bend over backwards for you, and that made you want to bend over backwards for her as well.

It got time for me to get a “big girl” job, and Gilda knew it was coming. It was time for me to break away from her, except I didn’t. I still worked the community service events that I could, and we would get together and catch a Nashville Sounds baseball game. Bob, Gilda’s husband, was a big baseball fan and we would go catch a game together. When Dustin and I got serious, Gilda had to approve – which she did. She took Dustin in just like she took me in. We were her family.

The last time I saw Gilda was at a Nashville Sounds baseball game for her to let us know that she was retiring from the tuxedo business, but would still be doing her Ambassadors and Social Graces (she added girls a few years back to the program). She had sold to another local tuxedo business, but they were going to let her keep on doing her thing impacting teenagers lives. We had text back and forth about the baby, and also my obsession with nuns. (Side note: if you aren’t in awe by the work of a nun then there is something wrong with you…just sayin).

September 22, 2018 Gilda was driving home from an event and got hit in a head-on-collision by a young lady that had been drinking. It killed her instantly. It’s still hard to believe that she is no longer with us. Her death didn’t just impact her family, and those that she added to it, but it rocked the community as well. She was a no-judgment, always had an ear to listen to you, and if there was work to be done in the community she would be the first one there.

Here’s a few links to get a glimpse of what an impact she had on everyone she met:

The Tennesseean

Talk of the Town

I am so thankful that she came into my life 17 years ago. It will take time to heal, and fully comprehend that she is no longer with us on Earth. I am also upset that my son will never get to meet her, and have her spoil him. He will however know how great of a person she was and what an impact she left on the world.

 

 

Man’s Best Friend

Dustin and I have been married for a little over 2 years now. When we were dating I decided to “gift” him with a kitten. A friend of mine had found some strays, and was giving them away. I thought it would be a great surprise for him. Well wild cats and apartment living doesn’t mix. Eventually after a couple of months Meow came to live with Dustin’s parents.

In the country animals roam free, and Meow was no exception. The downfall is that there are a lot of other animals that roam free. Meow only made it two weeks in the country life. We aren’t sure if he had been eaten by a coyote or if he just ran away.

Fast forward to when we moved across the street from Dustin’s parents. We had talked about getting a dog, and we both said we didn’t want an inside dog because a) the hair and b) the bathroom issues. If we did an outside dog though we would need to do a fence. We both said what kind of dogs that we would like to have. At this point I can’t remember what Dustin said, I know that I had always wanted a great¬†pyrenees. Great pyrenees are known for being herders, and being great with children. That is why I wanted one.

We also had to discuss the fact we are not home a whole lot. Between our love for traveling, and always going to sporting events it wouldn’t be fair for us to have a dog. Or so we thought.

Dustin periodically goes across the street to see how his family is doing, and hangs out with them. One day when he went over there there was a new addition. Her name was Gizmo. She had been abandoned by her previous owner who couldn’t take care of her anymore. Dustin’s stepdad decided to take her in. Gizmo and Dustin hit it off. She would hug him and love on him whenever he came over.

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One day I got a text from Dustin that said he wanted me to meet Gizmo, and if we hit it off he wanted to keep her. When I first met her she did the same thing to me, hugged me and loved all over me. I had hesitations about her coming to live with us. I am pregnant and due in January, and what I hear about small dogs is they get jealous of babies. But how excited Dustin was about her, and the fact that she is 9 years old and is house broken made me cave in. We got her when we got back from vacation.

It has been an exciting month and a half since we have had Gizmo. To be more accurate one should spell her name D-I-V-A because she is a diva. She has taken over the couch and the love seat in the living room, is an excellent vacuum cleaner when it comes to the kitchen, and has officially taken over my bed. She is our little shadow. She is not a fan of the computer, but is a big fan of the baby bump.

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I didn’t realize how alone I was in the afternoons when Dustin was gone until we got her. She keeps me company, and is also my little space heater (not that I need one right now). I pray that she will be able to make the adjustment when little man comes. Otherwise she is gonna have to go.

 

Throwing the Towel In

Sunday, September 23rd was like any other Sunday – or it should have been.

The plans starting out for the day was to get up, and go to church like normal. The only thing out of the ordinary that we were going to do was go to a friend’s house to watch the Titans play the Jags since they were in Jacksonville.

I had been talking to myself and Dustin that I needed to text his aunt to see if there was going to be a baby shower thrown for me or if we were going to invite everyone to the one my family was hosting. Well being the pregnant person that I am I kept forgetting to text her. We had discussed it that morning that I would text her, and well oddly enough I received a text message from her.

She was checking in on me to see how I was doing. She likes to do this periodically. In return I checked in on her – her and her husband have had a time with cancer. The last time I had talked to her about it she said her doctor told her that his patients only have two outcomes: 1) they get better or 2) they die. Her and her husband have done neither. She let me know that the SUPER expensive medicine she had been taking for the past year¬†hadn’t worked. Her numbers had come back higher than they should have, and she also was anemic now.¬†The game plan was to go to the dr the next week, and figure out a new plan of action.

We go ahead and go to church. When we arrived we are given the bulletin with all the news that is going on in the congregation. I skim through it, and see if there is anything that pertains to me or people that I might know. We aren’t “members” there, but we visit there pretty frequently so I like to see the opportunities that they have coming up. Church starts and Dustin points out something to me in. One of his buddies from high school, his dad had his bladder cancer come back. This was bad news number 2 for the day.

Leaving church Dustin and I are just goofing off and talking on the way to our friends house. When we arrived I pulled my phone out, and saw I had missed a call from a friend. I thought it was odd because this is not a friend I talk to on the phone we just text normally. I called her back, but it went straight to voicemail. I sent her a text to make sure that she meant to call me. Roughly ten minutes later she called me back. I will never forget this call. She asked me what I was doing, and told me that I should be away from people when she told me what she had to tell me. I walked to a back room. She told me from the beginning it was bad, and the first thing I could think was our friend Gilda’s husband has had a heart attack or something along those lines. Those were not the words she spoke to me. She said, “Gilda has been killed in a head-on collision.” It took a minute for the words that she spoke to process through my brain. It felt as if I had been stabbed in the heart with those words. I lost all control of my emotions.

I am thankful that we were at a friends house so they could distract me from the news that was just given to me. We finished watching the game. I have no idea what happened in that game I just know the Titans won. And it was not pretty. We left and came home. When we arrived home I finally got on Facebook which I knew was going to be bad. It was. I don’t think I have cried that hard. Ever. After about an hour of sobbing I was able to get words together to make a post. To write the post it took another 30 minutes. It was rough.

Earlier in the day I told my mom the news already about Gilda, and she told me about someone else we knew had been moved out of CCU to a regular room because they couldn’t do anything else for him. Shortly after I had posted about Gilda I got a text from my mom saying that Joe had passed away. I had just seen Joe last month, and was talking and cutting up with him. It was one of the best conversations that I had had with him. When I had gotten that text saying he had passed I officially had thrown the towel in on the day. I couldn’t emotionally take it anymore.

I’ll Take Two New Shoulders

After round one of grand mal seizures I was in the hospital for a week. I would like to tell you that it was a great stay, and that it went smooth sailing – but it didn’t. It was a circus to say the least. I will spare the details, and pray that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

When I got back home the first thing that happened is we had to schedule an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. The ortho dr. in the hospital didn’t want to touch me when he heard that I had two previous shoulder surgeries a few years earlier due to wear and tear and a good accident prone story. I didn’t get to see my dr. since we called that morning, but they worked me in to see a¬†NP that was told to “give me whatever I asked for”. All I wanted was a different pain killer since the one I was on wasn’t cutting the pain.

Shortly after that first appointment my dr. got all of my scans, and got me¬†an appointment to¬†sit down and talk to him. When I walked back there the first thing he wanted to do was¬†give me a hug, but he didn’t touch me because well I was fragile. We came up with a game plan that day. I would have a total of three shoulder surgeries. We would start with the left one since it had the most damage – a stripped muscle, and a pretty large break. The right one was left to heal on it’s own and then he would go in and get all the scar tissue out. Then it was back to the left shoulder to get the scar tissue out of that one.

I ended up having surgeries in July, September, and November that year. The dates were scheduled around Vanderbilt football games so I wouldn’t miss any home games – I had priorities hah!