March 28, 2017

For Benefit Of

I've written :FBO a few times on checks or envelopes- however, never has For Benefit Of shown quite as much definition as this past weekend.

Back last year I shared that a few family members had gotten some unexpected news. Well, one of those was one very close to me- we grew up as close as cousins could.  Not many days went by that we didn't see each other and spend some form of time together.  Seems like a lifetime ago on some days- and others I can vividly remember us making mud pies and decorating them with blooms from Grandma's yard!

This past year a diagnosis came of - you guessed it- cancer.  That evil word that so many of us shudder at.  Growing up that word was not part of our family dinner table discussions- I mentioned that to some friends this past weekend and they asked- 'What's changed?' My response- 'our diet'  Plain and simple more Cancer diagnosis coming daily than ever before.  Diet is the only thing that has changed drastically in the past 25 years.  I'm sure that I'm not the only person that's noticed there are fast food restaurants on 'every corner' available- and lines of vehicles in them!  I was quite taken back the past 2 weeks while in Houston for Stock Shows to see that every night while heading back to our hotel that E-v-e-r-y Single Fast Food place I drove by had Lines-- Some even 2 Lines of people waiting to have their late supper handed to them out a window.

I shall digress on the issue of diet and get back to 'For Benefit Of'
This diagnosis has come with months of appointments, surgery and more appointments- all putting drugs into a body that wasn't quite designed to have all this 'stuff' put into it.  My kids were learning about cells and germs in science in regards to our immune system. We were able to discuss how a healthy immune system can fight away bad germs- and how 'shot' the immune system can get when overloaded.  So this cousin is a teacher - married to a teacher- has 4 kids and a schedule that keeps them running in more directions than I can keep up with.  I'm one that likes some margin in my life and not totally overwhelmed with activities (although some of you that know me are wondering what the heck I'm talking about...)  I do believe all the kids activities have kept this cousin going through some really difficult days.  I know there was one time at the beginning when at a treatment and they witnessed another patient come in for chemo that was pregnant- any pity party that was happening on my cousins end pretty much stopped right there. They realized they already had 4 healthy kids at home and this person was having to go through a stage with a child growing inside them. wow.

When asked how they were doing the response would be 'good'- never any complaints.  I cannot imagine.  What a great example this person has been for others- and a great friend too.  This was all put back to a blessing this past Saturday.  I'd like to think we held a 'For Blessing Of' kind of event. This cousin is not the type to Ever ask for help- period.  So when friends and family members started speaking of a benefit to assist with medical expenses (because I don't think you can ever really pay off those sorts of bills) they of course did not want any part of it.  Too proud to 'ask' for help- so this was not their idea by any means.  I listened for 2 months as my Mom spoke of progress of the event. Hours of work went into the planning and preparation- all for a cause to bless someone who by the end of the night told me 'I don't deserve this' to which I responded.... 'That is Satan telling you that and you can kick him out of here.'

Y'all- I cannot begin to express the love that was poured out for my cousin.  Several of you even donated Items  and purchased raffle tickets- and you don't even know them- but you've known someone else who has battled the disease and wanted to honor them by supporting this cause- and for that I am forever grateful. We come from a big farming family- so there are connections from generations of families working together, connections from my cousins in high school/college/ teaching careers, connections from their kids and their activities- 4-H/sports/stockshows all of this came together with a hall full of people wanting to show their support of this family.  Multiple times Saturday my eyes welled up with tears. 

Anyone wondering where the good in the world is today- I saw a whole lot of good Saturday evening.  My cousin was amazing on the microphone thanking people for their support from the beginning of the diagnosis- then they said something that humbled me.... They thanked everyone that had been praying for them and said that they don't pray for themselves but for everyone else they know struggling!  Selfless- turned their situation over to God to handle and live life as best as they can. 

Y'all have heard me be thankful for my  'tribe' and encourage each of you to 'find your tribe' - well a Giant Tribe pulled together to Benefit a very special family and help them in their time of need. Over and over we see family and friends pulling together to bless others- whether from fires or famine- use your gifts, time, talents and resources to benefit others less fortunate than you as often as you can.  Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

There was definitely a Benefit for my cousin Saturday night- but I think everyone there was either blessed or benefited from being part of it.  When you are part of something bigger than yourself God shines through! 

My cousins kids and mine get to play together now at family functions- although I don't think they've ever made mud pies together- but they are making memories together.  One memory is watching their parents support and encourage each other through different stages of life. Have you encouraged someone lately- if not- take the time today to do it!

This cousin of mine has come to several Barn Sale's- they would not allow the photographer to get a picture of us last year- said next year.  So, I am fully expecting to take a picture with them this year- when the hair is all back and hopefully a clear prognosis has been made.  Only time will tell. For now- I am thankful 'For Blessing Of' family and friends.  I cannot imagine life without them.

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March 16, 2017


Hey y'all- Well, I think Spring has finally sprung... I'm seeing buds on our pecan trees and if you ask a Texan they'll tell ya that buds on pecan trees are the tell tale sign!  So the tomato plants that have been on the porch will finally go in the ground this weekend- hooray!!!! And with spring comes Warrenton aka Texas Antiques Week/s...... Hip Hip hooray- my junkin/friend seein'/idea sharing mecca is calling my name and I must go.......

So I've used the word Iconic to describe this little post.  When you hear that word each and every one of us can automatically come up with thoughts and visions of things that classify as Iconic in life.  I'm going to share a quick re-cap of a little trip Cattleman and I took.... It included 3 Iconic things in my life!  

We headed south last weekend to a Stock Show without our kids (gasp for those of you that know us.....) Cattleman had some work to do so I went along to handle a little business of my own. First things first.... We NEVER get away together this time of year- so we were kind of shocked it really happened!  Then as we were driving he said those five words I was hoping he would say.....
'Wanna eat at King's Inn?'

Now there are some of you saying- Where's that?  Well, let me just say- if you've never been there you better know where you are going or you'll completely miss the turn off.  No, we did not miss it- but you have to know it's coming!  King's Inn is located at Baffin Bay (south of Kingsville)- it overlooks the bay- you can watch the waves while you order some of the best seafood you will ever put in your mouth. Oh- and the homemade secret recipe horseradish pate tartar is quite amazin'!!!! Speaking of said tartar- if anyone has a recipe that even comes close to theirs- please do email it to me! This Iconic place hasn't changed much in it's years since being established in 1945. Avocado salad, onion rings and shrimp were just part of our meal- it's worth it y'all... make a trip there!

So we completely stuffed ourselves...... this is a Family Style serve restaurant- there was plenty of everything. Oh my goodness- I'm getting hungry just typing this! If any of you are headed back from the beach please get an order of shrimp for me- and a quart of tartar! All this being said, I am not getting any kickbacks from the King's Inn for advertising for them- just sharing the love!  I had a friend on the trip remind me that they had taken us there when my little guy was a baby- so it's been 9 years since our last dining there and it was just as good if not better (we've been there other times than those as well)! Time made the taste-buds grow fonder!

The following day found us in Mercedes, Texas.  Cattleman was working and I was able to go handle some business- that of a gift certificate that needed to be commissioned. Here is where I wound up..

 If you've never heard of Rios of Mercedes it's ok- it just means you aren't a 'Boot Junkie' like I am.  I love this little building completely covered in green vine year round - this is South South Texas... everything is green all year! Notice the large boot out front- yes- it has the block ATM on it!  Whoop! I spent the better part of 3 hours in this building designing a pair of custom boots. This is my second time to work with them on a pair of boots. Rios has been in the boot business since 1853.  I'm fairly certain that classifies as Iconic when it comes to building boots!!! - hopefully I'll be sporting my new ones at the 10th annual Barn Sale! For me, designing 'A' pair of hand crafted custom boots is Very, Very, Very hard.  You see, I l-o-v-e vintage boots- the more inlays and the more colorful the better.  So when I am having to narrow down ideas to fit on one pair it becomes quite a challenge.  That being said these will be colorful and personalized. Oh, and I am not getting any 'kickbacks' (no pun intended) from them either...although I'll probably need some!

And finally when you are in South South Texas there are two types of food that you should eat- Mexican and Seafood. That being said, a lot of places down there combine the two!  Well, for us we were able to enjoy the Seafood part of it. And here is where the last Iconic figure comes in from our trip....

 There will be two sets of expressions when y'all read this- Some will say- 'Nice pic of 3 Aggies and one that's not' and the other set will say- 'Oh my Gosh- That's Dr. Joe and Dr. Chris!' Yep- I'm going to go with the latter of those two comments.

 Most people have had someone or ones that have impacted their life in more ways than they can count. Y'all know how special my Momma is and my Grandma was to me and that they've left lasting impressions on my life.  Thanks to my Momma for staying with the kiddos so we could get away for this trip! Ok- Back to this picture..... I'm not a 'huge' social media user- but I am Highly Thankful that it has allowed me to connect with people that I was once very close to in life and for one reason or another had lost touch.
The man next to me is 'Dr. Joe' - that is what he told everyone to call him- not the Formal title he fully deserved. That man is the full reason I was able to become an Aggie (well that and the fact that God already had it in his divine plan for my life!) and succeed at A&M. I remember people telling me that the College of Ag was like a big family and to be sure and get to know your professors. I took that to heart before even getting to A&M and meeting with Dr. Joe before becoming an Aggie.  From the first time we met he remembered my name- pretty humbling when he had a whole lot of other kiddos to remember too! Dr. Joe knew I wanted to succeed and made sure that I kept my grades where they needed to be- and that I was involved in student life at A&M. I remember him telling great stories in class, and when I would visit his office- and he did the same thing last week.  Hard work and Humor go hand in hand with Dr. Joe stories!  Why am I adding this picture to the list of Iconic things?
Well, when you say the name 'Dr. Joe' it comes with a special ring to it.  He holds a special place in my life that no one can replace.  I'm sure many other Aggies would agree that he is an Icon of the College of Ag at A&M. Dr. Joe has retired along with his wife- Dr. Chris who wound up being my actual advisor!  There aren't too many schools where you will find a husband wife duo like them.  Impact upon impact happened daily between main and west campus when they were on staff! Our few hours together last week completely humbled me-I've seen Dr. Joe once since I graduated (almost 20 years ago) and when I contacted him to see if we could get together while we were in South Texas he was more than willing. I do not say this to brag- I say this to encourage others. You Never know what an impact you may be having on someone elses life on a daily basis. To think that he would remember me from that many years ago and tell stories about some of my ideas while I was at A&M (to which Cattleman responded- she still has 'ideas' all the time!) was pretty amazing.  He and Chris have invested their lives into that of 'kids' trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of theirs. It was a delight to share with them what I've 'been up to' since college- and to connect on an 'adult' level- although I'll N-e-v-e-r be on the same level as the two of them.  Cattleman enjoyed listening to the stories and hearing a few of me. He has his own Icons from his college days too- we are both very grateful for the relationships we've made and how they've blessed our lives.  The only thing I do wish could have been different from our get together is that I wish our kids could have been there to hear the stories from this amazing couple! Maybe another day.....

I always encourage kids that are headed to college to get to know their professors or TA's if prof's aren't  easily accessible. I honestly feel sorry for kids that do not connect with professors or department heads while they are in college- they really miss out on another entire level of learning. I also don't understand all the 'on-line' courses now..... but that is a whole 'nother thing! Maybe it's not college for you or your kids- but hopefully you've had or will have that Iconic mentor of a person or persons that will help guide you down the path least taken, just waiting for you to blaze your own trail.

Proverbs 16:9 says 'The mind of a man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.' That was for sure the case with me- and continues to be. I had my mind made up where I wanted to be for school (which means college in our house) and Dr. Joe made sure I worked hard so that it would happen. Looking back I see so many intricate parts that God had lined out that I had no idea of at the time.  I am honored to have been a part of A&M when Dr. Joe and Dr. Chris were there, that was all part of God's plan too! I hope each of you prays that God will direct your steps so that you stay in line with his path for your life!

Here's to Icons of all kinds!  May we each appreciate them in our own way!


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February 15, 2017

Top 3 in Texas.....

Seriously good mail today......

My Mason jar Runneth over- again!

 Most of you know we Love this magazine- I mean they had us at Flea Market- then they add the word style.... and we start drooling......

 Then they post these Really Cool Articles like Readers' Favorite Outdoor Small Fleas & Vintage Shows... Now we are hooked- they added the word Vintage. 

THeN---- There are 3 Listed for Texas.... Y'all--- There we are - Smack Dab in the Middle!!!  Olga Leal Arguijo- Message me for a sweet gift please!

Guys and Gals- this is because of you, our Awesome shoppers and our FaBuLOUs Vendors!!!! 

The final photos have been loaded to our 2016 Barn Sale Facebook Album (click prev link) to see them all!  It was a Phenomenal show that could not happen without the kind hands and hearts of SO many amazing men and women.  Our Family is so blessed with a Tribe like no other. 
WE hope you enjoy the photo album and see why someone so sweet nominated our Barn Sale as a Top show in the Great State of Texas!!!

Applications for the 10th Annual Barn Sale (yes you read that correctly!) will be out the first week of April!

t-minus 9 months and counting......

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November 04, 2016

Vendor Shouts!

The 2016 Barn Sale vendors sure make us smile! They are bringing the GoOds! 

Another vendor from out near Round Top: Texas Trash and Treasures! We are delighted to have them back for year 4! This creative duo travels all over selling their "trash" and we ❤️ it!! Find their "trash" in the barn November 4th from 4:00 to 8:00pm and November 5th from 9:00am to 4:00pm! You don't want to miss it! #barnsale2016

More from our 237 Tribe!! Although we tried to get our friends back to the Barn (aka Junk Gypsy Company) for a book signing- their schedule was already booked... So, we kind of have the next best thing! A Signed copy of their book- Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder and Wander. We will be doing a drawing at #barnsale2016 to see who the winner will be!!! Stop in at Rusted Gingham's booth to enter!
#barnsale2016 #gonzalestx #junkgypsy#comeandjunkit #welovejunk #treasures

We are Most Delighted to Welcome ‘Blessed Mess & Co.’ to the Barn this year! When we received their photos, I’m pretty sure we asked if we could just move into them! We LoVe this! Stephanie will smile and sell you all sorts of cool GoOds!!! If you haven't already, head over to the blog {link in profile} to find Barn Sale 101 and get prepped for THiS weekend at JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas! #barnsale2016

New to the Barn but not new to shows is Vick Crafts! This talented lady spends any free time she has painting, crafting, stitching--all around neat goodies! We cannot wait to see what sorts of GoOds she brings to the Barn! Come see her wares THiS Friday and Saturday at JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas! #barnsale2016

Dolly and Co. are back in the barn for their 4th time! Their booth always brings a smile to our face! 😀 Super talented and creative ladies here… Fun sayings, cute upcycles and great Home Décor awaits in this space! Shop THiS Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 and Saturday from 9:00 to 4:00 at JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas! #barnsale2016

We are delighted to have Brocante back in the barn--this couple is super sweet, super creative, and super talented! We were impressed with their work last year and look forward to their new inspirations this year! Grab three crispy one dollar bills and head on out to JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas, THiS Friday and Saturday to shop Brocante and the rest of the barn! #barnsale2016

Bluebonnet Smile had to take last year off for a family wedding, but they were still at the barn in heart and early on helpers! This year they will be there for the whole time! Katie does amazing work with needle and various thicknesses of threads! Her scarves are the perfect weight for our mild Texas fall and winters! Be sure to stop in and see all her work--it’s not just scarves!!! Find Bluebonnet Smiles in the barn November 4th and 5th! See you at JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas! #barnsale2016

Marsha joins us for the first time as a vendor--she is a Gonzales County gal and is busy breaking glass for the show! She works with stained glass and will have all sorts of items to choose from at JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas, THiS Friday and Saturday! #barnsale2016

Monica joins us for the first time as a vendor! Mosaic and macramé- what a combo! She will have them both! Make her feel welcome in the barn November 4th and 5th! #barnsale2016

Just one more day! 🎉🎉 Dillo Designs is from just up the road in Bastrop! This lady has not had the same designs in all the years she has been coming! Her style and inventory stays up to fashion and she has a ball doing it all! I cannot wait to see what new goodies she has to offer this year! #barnsale2016

From just up the road in Shiner, we have Creations by Howard and Judy! We can't wait to see the GoOds they bring this weekend! Join us at JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas! #barnsale2016#gonzalestx

We can't wait to see your smiling face in the barn! Just $3 gets you in the door--parking is free! Shop 4:00 to 8:00 Friday and 9:00 to 4:00 Saturday at JB Wells Park in Gonzales, Texas.

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October 29, 2016

Barn Sale 101

Hey y'all--- people keep telling me how many days it is till Barn Sale.... My, November is getting here faster every year!  We are fine tuning all the little details that we can to make the Barn Sale a memorable one for you!  The vendors are FABULOUS... so that in itself is the reason to come!

Well, I thought I would do a quick 'low down' on the Barn Sale - kind of a 101 class....

Some have asked- 'Where is Gonzales?' -- We clear this up on our blog.  Gonzales is NOT in the Valley!  We are an Easy Peasy hour drive from San Antonio, Austin, Victoria, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Pleasanton and anything else in that radius!  Gonzales is about 13 miles south of I-10 off Hwy 183. So we are really central to just about half of Texas!!!

$3 at the Door- Really, that's it- $3 one dollar bills  - or 12 quarters - or 2 one dollar bills and 4 quarters.... you get the drift!  And yes- We prefer $1 bills... hint hint, wink wink, in admission lingo- 'Please have correct change'
All of these ladies had their cash ready last year on Friday afternoon!

Can We bring carts in- Absolutely!  The Barn is very easy to shop- but when you spy something you want.... Well, it's best to buy it at that point, because it might not be there when you come back for loop #2.  So, carts can be very handy and helpful from that standpoint!

Parking-- It's Free!  There is a large field to the left of the Barn when you pull in- you may park in rows there or keep driving past the Showbarn around to the Expo where there is a paved lot as well.

 Is it really in a BARN?  --- Yep, a Big, Huge Showbarn!  Don't worry- there aren't any animals to worry about, or poop to step in... so wear your fancy boots!

Do we need to spend the night?--- Well, Yes!  Whether you shop Friday night or Saturday... Friday night shoppers can enjoy the Barn Sale till the V-E-R-Y end... then head downtown for some fabulous restaurant and bar selections... sleep in a comfy downtown renovated historic setting and wake up to some yummy breakfast options.  Then head back to the Barn Saturday morning to see if you missed anything!  After that take in all the stores downtown Saturday-- some super fabulous shops await you! Saturday shoppers- come in and stay Friday night so you can wake up refreshed, eat a good breakfast in town and be at the Barn before it opens with your $3 to get your band and be ready to shop!  Then when you've finished at the Barn head downtown for more great shopping- Do the St. Joseph Street stroll...... (we've listed lodging, shopping and eateries on the Gonzales Info link of blog)

Food????  YES-- There are some amazing Food selections at the Barn!  The tamales and Chili are talked about ALL year long, Royers Pie Haven- Sweet and Savory, 4-H kiddos with Chicken Salad & Pimento Cheese sandwiches along with cupcakes, cookies, bars, snack mixes, spicy crackers, decorated sugar cookies....Kolaches may make an appearance and possibly some cinnamon rolls... Oh, and some Sweet Tea, Cocoa Coolers, Water or other assorted drinks to wash it all down with! There are also tables and chairs to sit and enjoy the food and the view!

Live Music-- YES!!!  Ain't no Grave is Back again!  Save some money to tip this God Loving family!

Cash/Credit Card/Checks- YES!!!  Most vendors will prefer Cash.... Most accept checks and several will have a Card Reader (but Not all.)  So come prepared!  There is NOT an ATM machine at JB Wells park- you will have to go across the road to Circle G if you need that... or any bank in Gonzales!

What else is there to do in Gonzales?  Well, besides the above mentioned downtown shopping, Gonzales is FULL of History! Our Old Jail is a huge attraction as is our Memorial Museum- let's just say it is a hidden gem.  The phrase 'Come and Take It' was coined right here in Gonzales... so if you are up on Texas History- you will like our town!  Our Visitor Center is located inside the Historical Old Jail! There are over 80 Historically Recognized buildings (including our Fabulous driving tour of Historic homes) here in Gonzales.  So, if you like architecture.... you will enjoy the Historic buildings and homes Gonzales has to offer.  Fall in love with the town???  I know several real estate agents that would love to visit with you! That's The Day Tripper whom we had the pleasure of meeting a few months back!

Buying big furniture???  There are boys available for tips to help carry to your car! 

Is it Kid Friendly??  Why- we happen to think so!!!

Well, Rain or Shine- The Barn has a roof and we've got the vendors... So make your Way to Gonzales this Friday from 4-8 or Saturday from 9-4.  It's a Fun time!  You will see things you like, things that make you smile, and maybe a few things you cannot live without.  You will be able to eat- or take food home with you and You will be able to hear amazing music.  So, there you have it- It's the place to be this weekend.... That wraps up Barn Sale 101.  Hope to meet you Friday or Saturday!!!

Counting down the days.....
Suzanne @ Rusted Gingham

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