The Antiquing Roller Coaster

Friday after checking out of our hotel, we were super excited to go check out the annual Antique and Garden Show at the Nashville Convention Center (located conveniently right across from our hotel.)  We’d heard from a few fellow-confrencers that it was a good show and the Beefy Broads are always on the lookout for crafty things.  So, we headed over….stopping at a few Nashville landmarks on the way:

Nashville Visitor Center

Kiss a hero? Ummm, yes please.

Oh, the Ryman. Where art thou, Emmy Lou?

Finally, we arrived at the convention center.  And, everything started off fantastically……

Nasville Antique & Garden Show

We were immediately wowed by some of the artistic garden installations.  The first one, right as you walk in, was wild…..These green human forms were hanging over a garden pool.  Upon closer examination, I realized that they were human chia pets.  Way cool!  The flower’s fragrances were also intoxicating.  

Garden Installation #1

Human Chia Pet. I want one.

Surrounding the chia pets, were a bunch of floral arrangements in stumps.  Each had its own color scheme.  Among the flowers were some interesting additions — apples and artichokes.

Flower arrangements

The last beautiful garden installation was called the “Moon Bridge.”  It was really spectacular, as well.  The reflection into the pool below really sealed the deal.

Moon Bridge

We began walking around the vendor maze on an artistic high.  We were chomping at the bit to find vintage treasures.  What we should have noticed when we first walked in, but we were instead distracted by the beautiful garden installations, was that we were surrounded by obscenely rich people.  That should have been our first clue that this wasn’t our gig.  After walking by three booths where every piece was priced at over $5,000, we finally admitted that we were way out of our league.

I cannot describe to you the antique roller coaster low that we fell into.  We had been able to survive nauseating school bus rides and mind-numbing conference workshops only because we knew that this show was waiting for us.  We had giggled into the night about what we’d hoped to find — vintage sewing machines, eclectic knick-knacks, more sewing notions.  What we found instead were stuffy antiques and measly garden representation.  We were dejected.

We got our $15 worth by taking pictures of stuffy antiques that we, or my DH, could DIY.  Here are some of those:

We could totally make that. Price there? $250. Wow.

Sweet wooden bicycle

Great storage buffet...antique meets industrial.

Railroad Coffee Table at Convention, $8500. Same table at Duke's in Lexington, $350. Stuffy.

My favorite of the day.....

We tried to bolster our spirits by telling each other that we would stop at some fun antique stores on drive home.  So, we loaded up the car and rolled out of Nashville.  Unfortunately, we didn’t find any additional antique stores that looked worth a stop.  What we did see was a sign for Dollywood.  And, I don’t know how we didn’t realize it before, but Dolly’s hometown is only 5 miles off of I-40.

As we pulled off the interstate headed for Seiverville, TN, we began seeing all kinds of antique store signs.  Things were looking up.  And then, upon cresting a hill, we saw the great Smoky Mountains before us.  Good God almighty, they are majestic.  That alone was worth getting off of I-40 for.  Welcome back, antique high!  We decided that the first order of business needed to be food.  We were both starved.  With that simple decision, we sealed our antiquated fates.  What we had failed to realize was that it was close to 5pm.  After we finished our “lunch” and pulled up in front of our first antique store (which looked AMAZING BTW–old claw foot tubs and wagon wheels in the front yard, tons of glassware and old gasoline signs in the windows), we were greeted by the shopkeeper turning the “open” sign over to “closed”.  We tried another store and another store, where we were met with the same thing.  Oh Dolly Parton, why hast thou hometown forsaken us?!?  We even payed you homage by listening to “Jolene” on the way in……

We did the only thing we could, tucked our tail between our legs and pointed our trusty steed north.  The whole drive back to Virginia was accompanied by a raincloud, both literally and figuratively.   All of those enticing and mysterious antique stores just out of our reach……We were so let down.  But, the Beefy Broads are resilient and we were not about to give up.  Upon saying goodbye to our rental car and each other, we made a pledge before God and Shaggy that we would antique again the next day AND we would triumph.

4 Day Weekends – Hooray!

Yummy radishes!

Well, it’s been a busy week and weekend around the farmlette.  It’s been nice to have an extra day….but, that day was solely spent doing more work.  What’s the phrase?  Oh yes….”Sleep when you’re dead.”  Lots of work to the yard, garden and chicken coop.  Unfortunately, there is still much work to be done.

On the garden front:  The last raised bed is finished!  I planted sweet potatoes, lima beans, a pumpkin, and some more tomatoes, beets, and peppers.  I finally got all of the new raspberries and blackberries in the ground as well.  They seem to be over the transplant shock and are already growing.  I finished laying down newspaper, straw and concrete aisles in the aisles of the garden and it’s starting to actually look like a garden that’s behaving itself instead of a garden-gone-wild exhibition.

The garden - new raised beds!

And our lovely new compost bin - thanks DH!

I got the potatoes squared away.  They had gotten so big and so heavy that they’d all toppled over and were laying in the walkway to the compost.  So, I put up some fencing along the edge of the bed and tied them up to it.  Since doing that, I think they’ve grown another 6 inches.  I picked the first bushel of beans (contender) and can’t wait to fry them up with some basil, garlic and butter!  I think an early row of beans followed a month later by two more rows is the perfect way to space out their bounty.  I’ll get a bunch more just when I’m ready to begin the canning season.  (Oh, I got a new pressure canner this week, too!)

Headed for the canner....

I sprayed all of the fruit trees and plants in the garden with liquid seaweed.  I staked a few more peppers and tomatoes that had gotten so big that they’d succumbed to gravity.  I’ll need to buy some bean trellises tomorrow…as they’re already up and growing.  Not sure if I’m going to end up putting the squash, etc. on trellises or just let them ramble on into the grass?? And, as soon as school is out, I’m going to work on getting some clover and grass growing down in the orchard instead of all those pokeweeds.

On the coop front:  Not going to lie, the coop has become a little frustrating.  While I really like the idea of repurposing an existing structure, it’s really difficult to know what you’re going to use and need when you tackle something like this.  I believe that WW and I have been to Lowe’s every day for the last month.  Just when we think we’re going to make some real progress we realize that we need a specific tool, piece of hardware, or other and have to truck up 29 North.  I think building a coop would have been a much quicker task if we’d purchased plans and then tried to find free wood based on the plans.  That being said, we’re stuck with what we’ve begun and progress is slow but it is happening.  We finished the foundation and put the first and second stories together.  Then, we added the side and back walls to the first floor.   Once we did this, it seemed like all the animals wanted a piece of the action….

Georgia supervising the action.

The rest of the weekend was spent painting the interior of the second story and exterior, caulking the exterior, cutting the vinyl for the second story, planning where to put the ramp and nestbox, and building the windows.  My neck is very sore from standing on a ladder and reaching through the side windows to paint the second story.  And, it still needs one more coat of paint tomorrow.  Ugh.  I hope these chickens know the pain we’re putting our bodies through for them.  Tomorrow, we’ll put up the windows and the window trim.  Then, we’ll probably only need one more month to finish the whole thing.  I wish I was being sarcastic there.