Wednesday, February 29, 2012

European History Re-Visited

Darby and I recently began watching Season 1 of "The Tudors."

From Wikipedia: The Tudors is a Canadian-produced historical fiction television series filmed in Ireland, created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premiumive mforg cable television channel Showtime. The series, named after the Tudor dynasty, is loosely based upon the reign of King Henry VIII of England. (taken from Wikipedia).

Let me just say that I REALLY like the show. First, it is full of incredible costumes and jewelry. Since I adore those types of things, watching them come to life (so to speak) hasn't been a hardship. Second, the actors are quite, er....fetching. No wonder the Ladies in Waiting had a swooning problem.  Third, the plot is captivating. Usually, when I am faced with nothing to do other than watch TV, I tend to multi-task. I work on jewelry, play on the internet (AKA Facebook and Pinterest), or even read a book. Not possible during this show. It DEMANDS my attention. And last, but certainly not least: I AM ACTUALLY LEARNING SOMETHING. Yes, I know the show is only based on reality, but I was curious enough to begin researching Henry VIII, Ann Bolelyn, etc....

I actually wondered why teachers don't use episodes from this or similar shows to encourage interest in studying. Of course, the "adult" scenes would have to be taken out, but wow - it would have made me more interested! I took Advanced European History in the 9th grade. I think I made an "A", maybe a "B" - but it was boring. The lectures were boring. I memorized information for tests and then forgot it. Evidence of this issue became glaringly apparent last evening as we watched an episode in which the King orders all books by Martin Luther be burned. (please note that this show takes place around the 1500's...)

CONVERSATION WITH DARBY (and no - I wasn't paying attention at the particular moment the King ordered the books burned, so hence my question...)

 Me: "Whose works are they burning?"
Darby: "Martin Luther."
Me, with shock in my voice: "Martin Luther KING?!?!"

Let me point out that I am perfectly aware that MLK did not live in England in the 1500's. But my frame of reference for the name "Martin Luther" just didn't go back to the time of Henry VIII. And if I had actually LEARNED European History, instead of just memorizing info for tests, my first thought wouldn't have been: "Why are they burning MLK's works on this show when it is supposed to be in the 1500's and MLK wasn't even born???"

I recommend the show. But don't try to multi-task!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Antique Buying Trips

I love my job. Most of the time. I love to go on buying trips: dig thru boxes, gaze at glassed-in displays of sparklies, talk to random dealers at flea markets, antique stores and shows and hear their stories. We talk about our "best finds", or the "one that got away." Sometimes we bemoan the current state of the economy and its affect on our businesses. But antiquing, whether for collection purposes, re-selling, or both (as is my case), should be fun and filled with unusual, fun objects. And creepy objects. With those adjectives in mind (beautiful, fun and creepy), I present my favorite photographs from some of our buying trips in 2011.

 Let's start with the photo to our immediate left. According to the tag, it is an 1800's Bleeder. "In Leather Box." DUDE. I totally understand that these items are a representation of just how far modern medicine has come, and would be highly collectible to some people, but I just can't see wanting a BLEEDER. Yeeeeech. But wait - it's in its leather box. THAT MAKES IT COOL. Yep.

The chicken pictured to the right will remain forever engraved upon my mind, my heart and my soul. Before anyone thinks I am waxing poetic ABOUT A CHICKEN, let me tell you why I am forever bonded with this chicken. We were "somewhere up Nawth" on one of our buying trips. I was admiring the scenery (cause truly, the countryside in New England is outstanding and always makes me want to move to a farm and raise pigs. Not really, but anyway.)From the road I see a chicken (and yes, I am from the South where stereotypically, you see A LOT of chickens in peoples yards, but this chicken was....DIFFFERENT.) I made Darby pull over so I could take a picture. At this point I have all ready made 2 mistakes: pulling up in someone's driveway in the country, and getting out of the car in my cute shoes to take a picture of a CHICKEN. I approach the chicken and am thrilled that he is letting me get this close. Unfortunately for me, this was apparently someone's GUARD CHICKEN, and right after I snapped this photo, he puffed up, opened his beak and hurtled straight towards me. I realized quickly that this Yankee Chicken DID NOT appreciate the Southern Belle amateur photographer snapping his photo without asking, so I let out a high-pitched screech and started running to the car with this pissed off chicken literally at my heels. My dear husband is laughing so hard he can't speak, so of course I start laughing as well while yelling; "Floor it - let's GO!" - because I had visions of this chicken taking off and attacking our car. As we backed up, a man opened the door of what I thought was an abandoned building, glares at me, sits down on his steps and CALLS THE CHICKEN. And then pets the chicken while looking at me all suspiciously - like I had harmed his guard chicken. I was mortified to have been busted, not just by the chicken, but by the chicken's owner. I have a new respect for pissed off chickens. AMEN.

After an intense morning of buying jewelry and tiny, fabulous treasures, I decided I needed a drink. Let me point out 2 things: 1) I do not drink much at all - maybe one drink every other month at best. I just don't like the way it tastes and I do not want the calories. 2) When I do have a drink, I really prefer a margarita, on the rocks, light on the tequila and extra extra salt, thankyouverymuch. I had not eaten breakfast that morning, and seeing as how I have NO tolerance for alcohol, my yummy little margarita inspired me to post a nice little status update on Facebook in which I proclaimed I was "drinkin' and 'tiquin." (Drinking and Antiquing). Which turned out to be a very popular status update, with lots of friends saying they wanted to go "drinkin' and 'tiquin" - and I thought - WOW - wouldn't that be GREAT for business? A bunch of tipsy adults buying their way thru antique malls. Cha-ching!

This little beauty to my left nearly gave me a heart attack and caused me to jump backwards, almost landing in a big, glass display case and purchasing thousands of dollars of unintended merchandise. I was innocently digging thru an old wardrobe stuffed to the gills with scarves, purses and the occasional piece of jewelry. Let it be known that we antique dealers all have a common disorder: we cannot pass by a stuffed box or wardrobe without HAVING to dig thru it. Cause seriously - we think we're gonna find a gold bar at the bottom. But me? Noooooo.....I get to find a creepy-eyed doll head without her body. And she's frowning at me. After realizing I had not, indeed, stepped into a scene from a scary movie (choose your favorite), I calmed down, took Creepy's photo, and got the heck outta there. Without a treasure.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a marvelous Holiday season. Marvelous. I like that word. I think I'll start using it more often....cause that would just be...marvelous. Dahling.  We had a bit of a non-Christmassy-feeling Christmas. We hard to create that Christmas spirit; you know, the magical, joyous feeling you used to get before you had to grow up. I decorated our house by the 1st of December. 5 indoor trees and 2 lit pieces outside. Got out the Christmas tree cookie jar. Put my little Anna Lee Christmas mouse in my kitchen. Our son, Cameron, was totally stoked about Christmas this year...he would have been excited if the only tree used was the multi-colored lights little tree that went into his playroom.

He gets it this year...Santa Claus, the manger and baby Jesus were recurring conversations in our home. I smiled, and laughed and participated, but felt empty inside. How is Christmas magical when it boils down to conversations with relatives over the "spending limit" for each other? You may as well write each other a check for the same amount and call it even. ??? I just don't get it. I think I'd rather live in a little cottage, out in the woods (where we might have a chance of snow....), have a couple of big, happy dogs, a warm crackling fire and a truly old-fashioned (and perhaps, a little fairy-tale-ish, but hey...) Christmas. I want that sparkly Christmas feeling again. Sorry this is a down post, but it was a down Christmas. I WILL say that Cameron was thrilled with his gifts this year...he is really into Disney's "Cars" and their characters. he specifically wanted "Lightning McQueen Folks" and the super duper "Spy Plane." Glad Santa tracked us down and delivered those special items!

I did make a few New Year's Resolutions: 1) take better care of ME. 2) Have another Baby. (HELLO!) 3) Continue transforming my house into a HOME. There is a difference. 4) Read more. 5) Drink more water - which really means drink no more diet drinks. 6) Grow my business in 2012. 7) RELAX.

So "CHEERS" to all yall out there....stay happy!