vintage = green and Cajun = fun

vintage = green
Cajun = fun

blogging and selling vintage home decor in my 2 online shops:
The Home Repeated by menzo and milkglassandmetal

Friday, August 13, 2010

changing my online shop name...and some Cajun vocabulary words...

One of my online vintage shops on Etsy - menzocollection - has been renamed:  The Home Repeated by menzo.   So this is the new banner you see when you visit the shop.

And my new avatar is the same one I use for this blog.

Since we don't have a feature on Etsy (yet!) that let's us change our existing name, this is my interim solution.  I still have to say "by menzo" somewhere in there to cut down on confusion...since search engines will continue to show my shop name as menzocollection. 

My milkglassandmetal shop is still a separate vintage store. 

So come visit.    And fix ya a plate!   : ) 

Those are a couple of Cajunisms for you...I'll be teaching Cajun vocabulary words and phrases here also.  Many are standard French words.  Some are not.  And even the standard ones are often prounounced differently in south Louisiana.

And I must start with:

chère = dear
We pronounce it in shabby.  And we say it loud.

envie = envy
Cajun pronunciation: awww-vee.  We use it to mean a craving.  We get a lot of those.

mais = but
Prounounced: in Mary.    
A great all-purpose word.  We use it as the equivalent of "well" or "of course" as a 1st word in a sentence, with the word "me" being the last one.  It's often accompanied by interesting body language for emphasis, especially when used by itself in response to the ridiculous thing someone else just said (a sort of "are you crazy?" reply).

Hence (grammer usage intended...if I included our phonetics for some words, you probably wouldn't be able to decipher them):

"Mais, SHA, I got the envie for a snowball yeah, me.  Come ride uptown wit-me.  We gone get us a pink lady.  Or maybe I feel like a tiger blood."
And on the 2nd day...we usually have an envie for some refreshments from our drive-thru daquiri shops...which offer many more choices than daquiris. 

My choice is called *Painkiller.*   It's quite tasty...and eliminates all aches that precede the drinking of it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Part III - the world's longest yard sale...

So here's the last installment of my and my sister's adventures at the World's Longest Yard Sale.  Read Parts 1 and 2 here and here.

This final part of the story tells all about some of our special finds.  And be forewarned that this post is long.  Way, way long.  : )

I've already talked about my motherlode of Blue Heaven dinnerware in Part 1.  But here's the picture again! 

I must confess....I had never seen Blue Heaven until I came across this set.  I fell instantly in love with its very cool, 50s atomic graphics.  So I bought all 87 pieces of it.  I plan to sell some in my menzocollection online shop in the near future....the pieces I can bear to part with, anyway.

I calculated that charged $694 for the same ones when I bought mine. 

I did not pay $694.   : )     I paid about 20% of that.  Shhhhhh!

On to other fantastic finds of mine!

That's just like the metal dollhouse I had when I was a child of the 70s!  They were all the rage.  I paid $12....which probably isn't much more than what they cost back then!  I've filled it with vintage, plastic doll furniture, of course.  My toddler and I play *house* quite a bit.  So what if it has a few metal prongs that kinda sorta stick out....they won't leave any scratches on him that a bit of Neosporin and a tetanus shot can't cure.  : ) 

And the child's guitar!  I bought that from a dealer for $35, so it cost only a little less than what I would expect to find in an antiques store.  He loves it....and has serenaded me quite a few times since then.

The next item up that is not for sale incredible pair of rooster bowls!!!  Well, they are sans rooster, but who cares.   (No, I didn't pay $10 for the pink one!)

The rooster bowl is probably the item I have searched for the most in the last few years.  And I couldn't find one online because I had nothing to go on other than "rooster bowl." 

The one we had when I was a kid looked exactly like this, except it had a rooster on a weather vane at the bottom of the bowl. My sister couldn't remember it at all, but the image of that bowl was permanently deposited into my memory bank. And I found 2 of them....but no rooster. 

But not to worry - soon after our trip, my sister found one - with the rooster - at her local Goodwill store for......drumroll, please......69 cents!!!

So speaking of bowls.....I found 14 gumbo bowls!  And bought all of them.  Alot of them were $2-4 a bowl, but I did pay $35 for 1 of them....simply because it was only the 2nd one I found and was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find any more.  Silly me. 

Okay, so these are actually called vegetable bowls.  But that's the size every Cajun I know uses to eat gumbo.  And if you've ever had a Cajun-cooked gumbo, you know why!   Chicken and sausage.....or shrimp......or seafood.....or just plain, ol' okra - no other dish in the world can beat it. 

But the gumbo has to be cooked by a Bayou Cajun - man or woman....which means someone who grew up within 30 miles or so of Bayou Lafourche, meandering from Donaldsonville to Grand Isle

I grew up within a 1/2 mile.    Just sayin.....    

Anyway, I've been on a quest for *gumbo bowls* ever since we bought the small house in my hometown that's right next door to the house I grew up in (my previous blog posts here and here).  Now, they couldn't be just any kind of gumbo bowl.  They also had to be what I call *grandma bowls* - the kind that looks like what your grandma would have owned.  And if they had a chip or 2 on the rim....all the better.   I wanted 25 of them total, which I now have for the house.  Not to say that I'll be able to resist buying more, of course, because I really ought to have more of them here in Houston. 

Another special thing I found at the Yard Sale is this complete set of 50s/60s spun aluminum canisters!  I paid $30 for the set, and I'm keeping every single piece.

There's a theme here.....pretty much each of the things I'm showing you duplicates cool things we had in my childhood home. : )   But all I seem to remember of our set of canisters was the cake plate.  I had no idea there were all these pieces also.  I even have a grease pot!

Here's a photo of the 1st set of stuff I bought at the Yard Sale...from the very 1st booth I walked into.     

That little pin dish at the bottom is a duplicate of one I have that once belonged to my great aunt.  Her name was Philomène (a French name meaning *loved one*).

But she was known to everyone in town (and beyond) simply as Maman.   That's a French word for mom.  She never had kids of her own, but she was a mom to all.  And the very, very best of one.  And I was lucky enough to have her in my family, and to grow up right across the street from her.   (What can I say....everyone lives next door to everyone else in small towns!)

So my set like this that I got from Maman has 2 of the pin dishes and a covered box.  It used to sit atop her bedroom dresser, and it now sits atop mine.  These were popular in the 20s and 30s - and included bud vases in this style.  I'm always on the lookout for more of the pin dishes.

And....I wish everyone could grow up with a Maman in their life.  

Now...this pink lamb and this green fish were supposed to be a pink fish.

They were supposed to be this pink fish, which is currently available in OliveVintage's store on Etsy.

Isn't it cool!  I have one just like it - a gift from my sister a few years ago when she came across it at an antiques fair.  And....of course it's one just like the one my mom used to have.  : )   My mom's pink fish was originally bought by my dad in the 50s for his mom on Mother's Day.  After she passed away, it was given back to my dad.  Because it was hollow, it served as our *junk drawer* for years.  None of us remember what happened to it, though.  Mine is proudly and prominently displayed in the center of my dining room buffet.

Anyway....a certain witty nephew of mine (one of my sister's sons) facetiously said that he wanted us to get him a big, pink fish from our trip.  Well, despite our best efforts, we couldn't find a pink fish.

But we did find a pink lamb and a green fish.  And the pink lamb even comes with its own *junk drawer*! 

And he has been the proud owner of both ever since.  And, I might add, he recently acquired a big, blue fish of his own.  His wife has one, and she added it to their combined stuff after their recent marriage.  I think it and the pink fish are fraternal twins.  

So their blue fish and pink lamb and green fish are living together quite contentedly in their new home.  And proudly and prominantly displayed, of course.

So enough about my stuff.  My sister managed to snag this set of genuine D.H. Holmes crab bowls! 

This purchase gave both of us goosebumps. 

Back in the late 70s/early 80s, my sister's sister-in-law gave her a set of 4 of these D.H. Holmes crab bowls.  Since then, 3 of them had broken, so she was down to 1 bowl.  Well, D.H. Holmes was a landmark New Orleans department store that has long since closed.  If you've ever read the novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, you know about meeting your friends and family "under the clock at D.H. Holmes."  The building is now home to a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, so that gives you an idea of the past grandeur of our beloved D.H. Holmes.

Anyway....duplicates of the crab bowls were nowhere to be found since the store's closing.

Except, that is, on the top of Signal Mountain, Tennessee!  Goodness knows how they ended up there.  What was so ironic was that my sister and I were in side-by-side booths at the Firehouse spot on Day 2, and she spotted the crab bowls in her booth at the exact same time I spotted my spun aluminum canisters in my booth.  So she comes to my booth saying, "Come here, come here!" and I was saying, "No, come here, come here!"

And the even more ironic part of this is that we weren't even supposed to be at the Firehouse spot.  That was our last stop the evening of Day 1, and practically all vendors had closed up for the day....except the guy with one of my rooster bowls.  Since we had made very little progress distance-wise that day, we came *thisclose* to skipping the Firehouse spot on the morning of Day 2.  We debated back and forth.  No, let's not.  Yeah, let's go.  No, let's not.  But it looked like a big one.  Okay, let's go.

So yeah, we both had goosebumps that day, to go with my kitchen canisters and her crab bowls.

Have I lost you yet?   Okay, good.  Almost at the end of the post, I promise.  : )

Let's see.   I've already told the story in one of my other posts about our trio of old pitchforks.  And I should also mention that I got a set of 10 of those 50s/60s aluminum glasses for 80 cents a glass....something we also had when I was a kid.  

Then there is the story of "Dunlap, The Duck" - and here's a picture:

He's actually not a duck, but a newly handcarved Canadian Goose.  But Dunlap, The Duck sounds better than Dunlap, The Goose.  It's an alliteration thing.

The owners of the The Wild Goose, "Sis" and her husband, Mason, were at one of our stops at the Yard Sale.  Their work is truly amazing, and they both learned their techniques from Sis's father. 

And the best (and ironic) part of Dunlap's story is that he was carved out of....genuine Louisiana cypress!  Sis and Mason use "sinker logs" - logs that sank underwater years ago in rivers that were used to float logs to sawmills downstream.  Dunlap came out of the Ouachita River in north Louisiana.    

By the way, he is named Dunlap in honor of the small town along the route that we were bound and determined to get to by the end of our trip....and it didn't look at all like that was going to happen toward the end of Day 2, as we had accomplished only about 15 miles in 2 whole days at that point.  But we put on our blinders and drove!  And we made it to Dunlap!  So Dunlap, The Duck, who is proudly and prominently displayed on my sister's foyer table, is a heartwarming reminder of our sister trip and the incredible fun we had.

And here are a few other great items that were for sale along our route (not to mention the handmade goat's milk soap for $2 a bar!)....some pickled goodies and a $12 little, red wagon.

And back in Houston that Sunday night, the little guitar found its permanent home.

I highly recommend that you make the trip, too.  Cross fingers.  : )

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Part II - the world's longest yard sale... continue the story of my and my sister's adventures at the original World's Longest Yard Sale.  Given that the route is hundreds of miles long, we stuck to Signal Mountain, just northwest of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Read Part I of my story here.

I've decided to break this up into 3 parts.  Part III will tell you the backstory of alot of our purchases. 

Every vintage piece has a story to tell, right?  That's a major part of why we love vintage the saying goes, "if only they could talk."  But this time, it's the other way around - it's me talking about my vintage things.   Because we came home with many goodies that pulled at the heartstrings tied to good memories past.

So here are just a few photos and things about the trip...

In Part I, I totally forgot to mention Pulled Pork Guy and Pulled Pork Lady.  On Day 1 of shopping, I decided I absolutely had to have pulled pork for lunch.  (On Day 2, I don't think we even stopped for lunch.)

I knew this was the area of the country for it because a friend of mine, who is from North Carolina, made it for a gang of us once...after having roasted his own pig outside.    (We Cajuns roast pigs, too, but we don't make pulled pork with them - we call ours cochon de lait.  Don't click if you don't want to see the pig!)

But the towns on top of Signal Mountain were few and far between.  Of course, we thought we had actually driven more than just a few miles from Walden at that point.  And we didn't see any restaurants.

So we drove this way....and we drove that way.  And then decided to drive back this way.

And then we saw it.  A big, white, handwritten sign on the side of the road that said Pulled Pork Sandwiches!  Well, where is the place?  Then we saw the screened tent.

Pulled Pork Guy and Pulled Pork Lady had set up a kitchen and dining area in their front yard.  For $4, we got a pulled pork sandwich, beans and a drink.  Or was it potato salad?  Not sure...because I was focused on that sandwich.  It. Was. Fantastic.  We loved it....not just because the pulled pork was delicious, but also because putting a pop-up restaurant in their front yard is just the sort of thing Cajuns would do!

We really enjoyed our lunch break with Mr. and Mrs. Pulled Pork.   But there were tons more yard sales to conquer!  More details on what we bought in Part III.

For now, here are a few photos of our goodies packed away in the rental van.

This is the van with our stuff from Day 1...

And this is the van with our stuff after Day 2...  I'll spare you the photos of the rear seat and its floorboards. 

By the way....if you have an Ikea within a 50 mile radius of your house, you should own at least 10 of their big, blue bags.  You will use them for everything.  Each one is 59 cents.  Yes, 59 cents!  You can't buy them from Ikea's website, so you have to get thee to one of their stores.  They're indestructible and indispensable.   I happen to have an Ikea only 2 miles from my house.  Don't hate me.  : )

Saturday was our day to go home, so we missed the last 2 days of the Yard Sale, unfortunately.   But I was still in a good mood...because we were going to stop at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama on the way home!

Let's just say....we should have kept driving.  And so should you.  Trust me.

Our route leaving the place did take us by Lake Guntersville just outside of Scottsboro, so all was not lost.  We picked up junk food at a fast food drive-up and then had a *picnic* by the lake.

Then it was fast driving back to Louisiana.  I don't recall the windshield of the van whistling at us that much on the way back.  I think it learned its lesson not to mess with me anymore after I backed it into that tree at the Yard Sale.

We crossed the Louisiana state line at dusk.


We had a good night's sleep at my sister's house, interrupted only by the shrill, piercing screams of her house alarm...which came on (and would not shut up!) at about 2 AM because the battery was at the end of its life.  We finally figured out that we simply had to pull the plug on the thing.

I had to catch my plane back to Houston late that Sunday afternoon.  But we first had to ooh and ahh over our goodies, of course!  And to total up what we each spent. 

So we got the bags out of the van, unpacked them, and spread everything out on my sister's driveway.

We separated it into piles.

Here's my sister's pile.

Yes, she bought a suitcase during the trip....  The trip on which we were supposed to conserve space by not packing more than 1 suitcase.

And here's my pile, including all those toys you see in the background. 

I spent a total of about $500 (except for the pots in those boxes....they were the only thing semi-good to be found at the Unclaimed Baggage Center).

I'll tell you all about our special Yard Sale stuff in Part III...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Part I - the world's longest yard sale...

Have you ever been to The World's Longest Yard Sale?   

And I don't mean the many copycat sales that have sprung up around the country in recent years....although I'm sure those offer great vintage shopping, too.

I'm talking about the original World's Longest Yard Sale that got its start in Tennessee years ago.  The one that now stretches from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan - 675 miles.  The one that always takes place the 1st weekend in August for 4 whole days - Thurs. thru Sun. 

This year's dates are August 5-8.  It has lots of everything - antiques & & shiny......old, crusty & rusty......homemade pickles, jams, etc......soaps, lotions & potions - individual sellers in their front yard......groups of sellers in grassy fields, buildings & barns......regular folk & professional dealers.  Sheer volumes of stuff.  

That's the one I'm talking about.  The one that is...

Vintage. Bargain. Shopping. Nirvana

The one my sister and I went to in 2008....which *only* went as far as Ohio at the time.

This post is about our adventures at that one.  Actually, I'll have to serialize the story because there's just too much to tell.  This is the 1st installment. Parts II & III will be about the goods we took home.  They'll take a bit to explain because almost every one has a story behind it.

So here goes....

I flew into New Orleans on the Wed. before the sale.  Met my sister, who lives in Louisiana, at the car rental place to pick up our van.  The van whose windshield whistled at us almost the entire trip, like fingernails on a blackboard.  The one I backed into a tree when I got so excited over finding an 87-piece set of Blue Heaven dinnerware.  Luckily, no damage....but it was sweet revenge for that d*** whistling.

So anyway...  Here's the van's storage compartment at the start of our trip.

Yes, that's just our luggage. "Our"...meaning my sister's luggage. My bag is down there somewhere.  But I will freely admit that the small ice cooler was the best thing to have during the trip.

Our home base was the Bluff View Inn in The Bluff View Art District of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The District overlooks the Tennessee River, and the Inn consists of 3 buildings - we stayed in The Thompson Inn.  Just gorgeous.  We definitely splurged on accommodations, and it was well worth it.  We had our own private porch(!)...the same one you see on the website and our photo below.

Now on to the most important info....The Shopping! We had 2 full days of shopping the sale.  We started on Signal Mountain, just north of Chattanooga.  We had the intention of covering 135 miles (the entire Tennessee route) during those 2 days.  

Yeah....right.  The reality was 9 miles in 8 hours on Day 1.  And we almost did the same on Day 2.  Thank goodness for that ice cooler.  When it became apparent that we weren't even going to make it the 15 miles or so from Walden to Dunlap over the course of 2 days, we decided late in the day to look straight ahead and drive without stopping to Dunlap and then to Pikeville.  We figured it would be too embarrassing to tell the non-vintage-loving people we know that we covered less than 20 miles in 2 days....saying 35 miles sounds so much better.    

And that slow pace was not due to traffic along the route since we did only Thurs. and Fri. shopping.  The slow pace was due entirely to our stopping at sale after sale along the way.   And buying something at almost every sale.  I'm told that traffic does jam up quite a bit on Sat. and Sun.

So here are some photos of the actual Sale.   There were many individual sellers in their front yards, as well as lots of multi-seller spots.  We soon decided to focus on those larger sales to save time.  Otherwise, we would have driven 3 miles in 8 hours. 

One of my favorite photos of the trip.

This is the yard and parking lot of the Firehouse stop on Signal Mountain.  It was the best stop along our route.    More on the Firehouse location in Part III of the story. 

Vendors of our 1st booth on our 1st stop where I made my 1st purchase.  

I think this was the stop where I backed the van into the tree.  Not the tree in the photo, though - that's just representative of the tree I hit.  In my defense, it had started to drizzle, and I had to hurry and get my amazing set of Blue Heaven dinnerware safely tucked away in a warm, dry spot. 

I mean, who wouldn't back into a tree for this?   87 pieces!!  I'm still hoarding the entire set, but I will select some pieces to sell in my vintage store in the near future.  I guess I don't really need 18 berry bowls... 

I'm pretty sure this is Pitchfork Guy.   

As in, the guy my sister and I bought 3 old pitchforks from for $20 total.  We never planned to buy pitchforks...even when we saw them.  We had no idea what we were going to do with 3 pitchforks...even after we bought them.  But they were 20 bucks!!  So that was a purchase known by vintage lovers everywhere as The Thing That I Will Never Have Any Use For Whatsoever, But I Absolutely Must Have It Now.

Or so we thought.  I have to tell ya....those pitchforks have been used by us many times over since then.  Hands down, they are among the handiest and sturdiest tools that were ever made.  So buy one if you see one!

Those photos should give you an idea of what is in store for you if you ever go there.  We absolutely loved the route on top of Signal Mountain and wouldn't hesitate to shop that area again when we make it back to the Sale.  Sadly, that won't be this year. 

Here's some Signal Mountain scenery along the way.

Driving up the mountain to start our shopping!

A gas station in Walden, TN.

Beautiful, clear skies.

There was even a red barn!

I'll continue the story in Part II...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

update on HelpTheGulfCoast store on Etsy...

The current stats for the HelpTheGulfCoast store is...

629 sales!!

I've blogged about the store previously.

Visit.  Browse.  Buy.


Monday, July 19, 2010

a car packed full of "junk"...

Ask anyone who knows me - there are not many things that I consider "junk."  I prefer the term stuff.  And I know a lot of vintage lovers feel the same way.  So feast your eyes on all the stuff I managed to pack into my car awhile back.

Never let anyone tell you how much stuff you *cannot* fit into a VW.  Here's proof.  And note that my toddler's carseat was also in there at the same time!

Some of the things are for sale in my 2 Etsy vintage shops - menzocollection and milkglassandmetal.  But most of them I've added to my personal collection of stuff.  : )    Oh, and that *sale* sign you see is from my own yard sale that I held earlier the same day...needless to say, I ended up with a net gain of stuff.

First, the backseat...

Now, the front seat...

The passenger side view....

And, of course, the trunk...

As you can see, there's not much of a limit as to what I can fit into a car. 

Finally, here are a bunch of chairs that I took home 2 at a time on the same day.  The wooden ones later fell apart on me.  The 1960s vinyl seats are now at our weekend home in my south Louisiana hometown.  And the chippy white iron chairs are destined for our front porch in Houston.  The *chippy* stuff is actually vinyl and not paint, so it all has to come off before I can use them.

And my husband doesn't know it yet, but the aluminum Christmas tree will adorn the front porch of our weekend home.  He knows it's going to the house...he just doesn't know where I'm going to put it.  We already have one I bought years ago for our Houston house.  I love that thing!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

my other house in my Lousiana hometown...

Remember that house I blogged about?  It's right next door to my childhood home.  We're almost finished with the remodel, so here's the big reveal.

Just kidding. 

Here's my other house.

Okay, so it wasn't much to look at 3 years ago since it was boarded up for 10 years.  It looks a lot better now, trust me.  That's a photo just before we bought it - it still had boards on all the windows.  But it was in fantastic shape structurally, so most of the remodel was cosmetic changes (read:  lots and lots and lots of paint).  My childhood home sits next door to the right when you're looking at our house from this vantage point.

Here are before and after photos of the bathroom.  Those original, pink walls are not tile...just panels made out of some sort of plastic or something.



All it took was a refinished tub (a huge, Art Deco cast iron thing), a new toilet, new vinyl flooring (that cost 59 cents a square foot!), panels of beadboard nailed over the existing walls and new fixtures.   Our Mr. Fix-It is a neighbor friend who I knew in high school - a reason to love small hometowns!

I'll post more before and after photos once we have done the final touches - this Fall, I hope!  

Oh, and that 1st photo above?  It's actually a photo of one of the fabulous homes in Vermillionville in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Now that's my idea of the perfect Cajun cottage. 

Vermillionville is pretty much the Cajun version of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.  It depicts the typical life those French Acadian and Creole ancestors of ours led in south Louisiana between 1765 and 1890.  The Acadians arrived after Le Grand Dérangement in 1755 - that's when the British kicked us out of Nova Scotia.  Don't worry, I forgive y'all.   : )

Here are additional photos of the ones I took at Vermillionville a few weeks ago.  That's my little one walking with his dad.  Y'all should pay it a visit sometime.  I highly recommend that you come "pass a good time" at the Cajun dance on Sundays...where the locals will show you how it's done!