Sunday, May 27, 2012

Crisp and Fresh

Battle Creek, Michigan

May 27, 2012

Dear Decorators, Design Stars of Tomorrow and current Reality Stars et al.:

Recently we have noticed a trend that is creating a chasm in our current working relationship.  We have worked together for over 80 years with no major arguments, but as one of us has recently achieved super star status (thanks to being mentioned often) we feel a rift is is on the horizon.

Case in point:

A POP of color for fun.
I'll POP for that.
Makes a room really POP.

Really?  That's the first and only word that comes to mind?

We request a change to correct this oversight and stem any possibility of the disbanding of our trio.  At this time, we are prepared to provide two good reasons for a change in wording...beyond the obvious one of Pop being overtly prosaic.

1.  We are the Grape Nuts of decorating...guaranteed to move your business with minimal strain and maximum results.

2.  We're beginning to feel neglected, ignored and under appreciated...much like a couple of redheaded step-kids.

We respectfully submit our work request for your consideration.  Until that end, we quietly await your approval with our promise to start talking...just as soon as the milk of your kindness pours over us.


Snap and Crackle

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Don't Want To Miss A Thing

To my bluest eyes in Texas...or anywhere else in the world...


You have bewitched me body and soul...

and I love...

I love...
I love you.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Tale of 3 Cities...or Markets

~I'm a road-master baby and I spend my life on the road.
I'm a travelin' musician and I'm carryin' a pretty big load.
I've spent my day drivin' down the highway, and
when the show is over, I gotta do it my way.
So look out honey 'cause a road-master is on the road.~Gene Clark

Since we got back from the Greatest Show on Dirt, this could be our theme song...just scratch out the word musician and pencil in junkers.  We've scattered gravel from here to there in search of the elusive big score.  Y'all know what I'm talkin' about.  That one killer find you just gotta strap to the hood of the truck for all the world to envy see. 

This weekend won't be any different.  It's my Happy Birthday on Saturday and I'm strappin' the wheels onto my backside and climbing into the poodle seat Friday morning to see where the road...and Cat Daddy will take me.

We could head to Houston for The Urban Market.  A lot of great folks I know will be there including Miss SweetT herself.  Afterwards, we could shoot down to Galveston for dinner at Gaido's.  That sounds like a great weekend...right?

But whoa Nelly...hold your horses!

I also hear tell Fredericksburg Trade Days is having their 10 year anniversary celebration this weekend.

A party...

with live music


50 kinds of beer in the Biergarten?

Honey...I think they're playing our song.

I was fortunate to meet Rhonda and her daughter at Zapp this past spring.  They were on hand for the Junk Gypsies Prom and stopped by my tent for a little photo-op.  They are both dolls and were just a hoot and a half to visit with.  I've been thinking this might be the perfect time to see what they're up to.

My kind of peeps. Isn't she gorgeous...with all her guns up?
Did I mention there would be an auction in the Biergarten as well?  Now y'all know The Man loves a good auction, but he tends to forget I'm around when he's yelling Y-e-e-e-p!  I might get neglected in his zest for bidding.



I'm gonna share a little secret, but it's just between me and you...okie dokie?

If I had my druthers, with enough time and plenty o'moolah, I know where I'd really be heading... and that's north...or is it northwest.  Come to think of it Midwest?  All I know is it's not in Texas or the South...and thank goodness Cat Daddy does all the driving.

That's right baby-cakes.  I'd be making my way to Springfield Ohio for the Vintage Marketplace.

Jon Jenkins is putting on one heckuva show.  Fabulous vendors like TOT (who I only get to see twice a year...insert sad face here)...the queen of heavy metal.  Treasure hunts, a tent dance appropriately enough called Boot, Scoot, n' Boogie (I'm thinkin' something like the JG prom minus the Texas drawl!) and Oh Mylanta...there's even gonna be Vintage Bingo.

The fun doesn't stop sirree Bob.  They've planned a Blogger and Friends Pot Luck Party as well. Now if any of y'all have ever been to a blogger party,  you already know it's a treat like no other.

Oh law...for the chance to meet Kathy and Lanette face to face, person to person, junker to junker...I would seriously consider robbing a bank...or selling Cat Daddy.

If that isn't enough to keep a gal jumpin'...Folk magazine is going to be there Sharing the American Dream.  Just like the road...the fun never ends.

Oh law...why oh why couldn't I have been born rich instead of beautiful?

So here's the deal pickle.

I can't afford to go, but it's my I got to thinkin'.  (Y'all shoulda seen the smoke signals that started!)  Instead of gettin' me some expensive doodad (like I know you're just dyin' to do) I'm thinkin' if you're anywhere close to this fabulous go for me.  Pretend you're me.  It's easy.  Just run around like it's you're first time to the big city and start hugging all the folks I know who'll be there.  If I don't know 'em...just act like I do.  Grab 'em, hug 'em, and send those hugs on to me.  The only thing better than a real hug is a long distance one...and I'll take it...any day...any time.

Don't worry about actin' a fool.  Folks expect that of me.  Just stop and ask yourself..."What would Deb do"?...then just jump right in and do it.  Print my face out, glue it on a card, stick a handle on it and carry it around just as if I was there with you....'cause believe you me...I will be in spirit.  Take photos...lots and lots of photos.  C'mon...what do you say?  Make an old gal's birthday wish come true and then I won't be hangin' my head mumblin' "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to".

In the meantime, if y'all are wonderin' whichaway Cat Daddy and I'll be headin' out come tomorrow mornin'...fair warning Texas people. You best be lookin' over your shoulder!

~You never know where we'll be found.
So you better get ready,
We may be coming to your town!~Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mom's The Word

May 13, 2012

Dearest Mother,

~Hello love.~

My, how I miss hearing you say those two words to me.  I also miss other words you shared with me over the years.

Do you remember?  I do daily.  You thought I wasn't always listening...but you were wrong.  I was busy taking mental notes.

~If you lay down with're bound to get up with fleas.~

~Never try to argue with a drunk or a two year old.  That's a fight you can't win 'cause neither makes any sense...and you can't understand a word either is saying.~

My personal favorite Mother and the one that has stood the test of time....

~Never write anything down you wouldn't want printed on the front page of the Courier Gazette.~

followed closely by...

~Never hang your dirty laundry on the front porch to air.~

You knew how to bring me back to reality when I was feeling full of myself simply by reminding me...

~Don't ever get in your head you're better than anybody else because you're not...but no one is better at being you than you.~

When I first married, you were full of wise advice.  Advice I still turn to after 40+ years of marriage because it works.

~You know it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man...right?~

OK Mother...I can hear you laughing all the way from Heaven.  Guess I wasn't paying attention when you laid those sage words on me, but thankfully I was when you warned me of the pitfalls every young couple encounters starting out.

~Buy with cash as much as possible unless you want to $25 E-Z Payment yourself right into the poor house.~

~Pick your battles.~

~If you start out in life settling for second best, you'll be settling for the rest of your natural born days.~

~Don't beat a dead horse or you'll end up a nag.~

~Look to the future and leave the past in the past. Pasts are like noses...everyone has one. You don't need to know his and he doesn't need to know yours.  When he says he wants to know and he really can handle it?  Trust me...he doesn't...and he really can't.~

Goodness have been such a stickler for expecting ladylike behavior from did have a way with the more...ahem...earthy phrasing.  I swear up and one could say a certain salty word the way you did. could say s**t so flat, I swear I'd get a whiff of it.  I guess when dealing with a mouthy teenager, you figured out real quick-like the shock treatment worked like a charm for shutting me up!

~Don't fly so high darlin'  you end up landing in bird s**t on your way down!~

~Quit picking the white stuff off the chicken s**t.~

 ~Chew on your words carefully before speaking because you never know.  They might just come back later to bite you on the a$$..~

~The more you stir s**t with a stick...the worse it's going to stink.~

After 14 years, I don't cry every day like I did, but you are a constant in my compass for life.  I write that to bring a smile to your face, but also to tell you I know your secret.  I now know every time I cried with me...even when I didn't see you.  Oh you might have fooled me back in the day, but I figured you out. Over time, I've seen that same face and those same puffy, mascara-smudged eyes looking back at me in the mirror too many times not to know.

~When raising children, you've got to get your bluff in from the get-go, but be prepared when they call your bluff.  Kids can smell a coward.~

Your smile, laugh, and words I carry with me daily.  I share them every chance I get with Joey and Jenn, knowing they will share them with their children.  Bella and Graycie will never know their Mama Helen in this world, but we're doing all we can to make sure they recognize you in the better one a'waiting.  We've told them to just listen and they'll be able to find you by the sound of your soft, lyrical voice...followed by God's you trying to give Him advice.

I read somewhere, someplace, sometime...heartache and pain are reminders of how much we loved and how much we were loved.  I love that reminder even though sometimes it hurts like hell.  It gives me peace knowing there isn't an ocean or sky big enough to hold all the love I felt for you and by you the 47 years we had.


Heck...who am I kidding?  I still love you and always will.


you had me at hello,


P.S. Just in case my daily descriptions of my grand-girls and their antics aren't'll be able to recognize them easily. Like you said of the past...they have noses...only theirs are just like yours.   


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sister Act

Area of expertise, a particular skill...
Anything that can be acted on with confident success.

I knew if this critic waited long enough, she would find the perfect opportunity to use this word before it became a cousin once removed from hunker down and viral.  Words over used, over worked and over written by every news, entertainment and reality show commentator known to man.  Man oh man... how I've wanted to use this word and praise be, this past Saturday just such an opportunity presented itself in the form of two Texas gals...the Junk Gypsies!

There was a Super Moon Saturday night and believe me when I say...there were two new Super Stars rising as well!


Why bless my soul...yes.

Saturday night, Amie and Jolie proved, beyond a doubt, they are definitely at the helm of junkin'!
I and my fellow critic, Cat Daddy, were among the friends and family gathered at the soon-to-be JG World HQ, the house that junk..and a t-shirt...built, to watch the premier episode.  Before I give my review of the program, let me begin by setting the stage for you.

Picture if you will,  a gathering of folks, some of which have known these girls since...well...they were little girls.  Cowboy hats and boots on every other person there.  Boots not contrived in, but lived in...well worn and well loved.  Hats confidently worn indoors with no apologies.  Hats that only come off as a sign of respect...or when sleepin' and takin' a bath...and sometimes not even then...'cause that's how we roll in Texas.  Nary a phony in the bunch and we were proud as punch to be in the same room with 'em.

Steppin' into the JG cathedral of junk had a feelin' akin to pullin' into the drive-in movie while perched in the back of a pickup. Pickin' a row, sittin' on the tailgate, shootin' the breeze and waiting for Smokey and the Bandit to light up the screen...minus the pesky mosquitoes.

The snack bar consisted of tables loaded down with BBQ and home made pecan pie for starters instead of popcorn and a big ol' dill pickle and just like at the drive-in, a playground (complete with two ottomans and a trike) up front, placed below the jumbo screen for the kids to play on.

Man don't come no better than that!

As watches were checked and the little hand neared 6, a hum began to fill the air as a wave of anticipatory excitement flooded the huge room.

One last run to the snack bar for a tamale and a beer to wash it down with as the lights were dimmed, the sound cranked way up, and there they were...larger than life...

For the next 30 minutes the only talking heard was during commercial breaks.

Oh law...those dadgum commercials!

Just about as bad as mosquitoes...or maybe worse...'cause you can't swat 'em and besides, they distracted us from seeing what we were all there to see...the show!

(Disclaimer:  It might be argued that this critic is a tad partial to the subjects at hand, but my response to that is a simple one.  People, who's pluckin' this chicken anyhow...y'all or me?)


Am I partial...heck yeah!

Am I lyin' like a rug on the floor...heck no!

The show was fun, fast paced and loaded for bear...the girls' and the Keens' personalities shining through like new money.  I found myself laughing and crying throughout the too short 30 minutes.  That is actually my only complaint.  I would love to see this show extended to an hour if for no other reason but to see what all is really hoarded stashed in that trailer o'junk they haul around!

Amie and Jolie took a nice room and transformed into a haven for this lovely couple.  The girls looked no further than Dan and Kelley for the cues and clues necessary for creating a perfectly tailored sanctuary to wrap them in love.  A room that mirrors (a request hinted many, many times for by Mr. Keen)  their personalities and reflects their passion.  My goodness...I was breathless.  I mean really...isn't this what a bedroom is supposed to be? 

The headboard, with it's hand carved monogram D+K surrounded by a heart, was a highpoint for me.  I don't know how many of those gates this critic has passed over,  never seeing the potential other than using it for keeping the cows in or out.  Having Phillip carefully carve the initials on it...brilliant.  I found myself mesmerized as Amie and Jolie, working with two brains, but thinking as one, demonstrated what a real sister act can accomplish.

From using dust masks while the glasses perched on Amie's Jolie's (ahem) sewing skills...this show was as real as y'all, the viewers, are gonna find when it comes to reality television.  They're not afraid of chippin' some nail polish (btw girls...I hear polyurethane works well for covering chipped polish!), gettin' dirty with power tools, and with the help of their fab JG crew...totin' that barge and liftin' that bale.

As the end credits rolled and the lights came up, the crowd went wild.  My first thought was "Gracious sakes alive...this is how it's done!"

As the girls said their teary-eyed thank yous to all for being there to share their second and most important thought was "No...thank you Sikes family, for allowing Cat Daddy and I to share in your special night and for letting us hitch a ride in the back of y'alls pickup on the never ending road trip that got you from there to here."

(Photo courtesy of Tara Royer-Steele..  Thanks girl!)

I'm givin' this show a big ol' Lone Star 'cause I only share my beer with the best and girls...y'all are Texas bred, Texas strong, and nothin' short of Texas at it's best!

This critic highly recommends y'all set your DVR's for the next twelve episodes 'cause I sure as shootin' will be. I'm in love and can't wait for next Saturday.

In summation, I can't say it any better than to simply quote the words of a famous son of Texas...

~Let 'er rip tater chips!~Phillip Sikes

Friday, May 4, 2012

May the Fourth Be With You

~Sometimes I wonder about my life.  I lead a small life-well valuable, but small and sometimes I I do it because I like it or because I haven't been brave.  So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?~Kathleen-You've Got Mail

Today is my oldest melonhead's birthday.  My son turns 40 today. did that happen?

40...a number that doesn't trip off a mother's tongue easily.

(Insert small shudder here!)

As I sat at his birthday dinner and watched him, surrounded by family and friends who love him, I found myself looking back over life...mine and his.  A life filled with laughter and tears.  A kaleidoscope of colored memories accompanied by the soundtrack of 40 years of love.

(Right about now I could wax poetic about all the fine qualities he possesses, but don't we all feel that way about our children?  Instead I'd like to focus on one in particular that I admire about him and also feel just a tinge of envy for.)

Both of my children are remarkable in their ability to build, hold, and maintain friendships.  Two of Joey's friends were sitting at that table and their combined years of friendship total 63 years.  Decades of memories that only they share.  Amazing.

Looking at these three big guys who love each other and aren't too macho to say or show it, my heart and eyes began welling up.  Friendships that have survived the ravages of time, work, family and everything else that sometimes gets in the way.

The ability to sustain a friendship is a rare gift.  Being able to forgive, apologize, and keep moving forward cannot be has to be felt.  Possessing the knowledge that a successful friendship is like marriage...where love and old grudges cannot co-exist.  The ability to maintain and sustain friendships that last a lifetime is a gift from God that I cannot match...nor would I ever try.

Is this a gene passed from generation to generation?  Possibly, but not necessarily.

How does one become a man that other men want as their best friend?

How does one become the type of man women secretly want to be their boyfriend?

I think it comes down to devotion.

It comes from a willingness to share a part of one's heart, to always be there...just a click or phone call away...always.  To set aside one's own problems and listen to others.  It's the pure unselfishness of putting others first.

Is it something we all are capable of, but never take the time for, so busy are we in the present day-to-day that we forget about the past that brought us to this point in life and our future that holds many promises regardless of our age.

There are many things about my son I take full responsibility for...the eyes and brows, the quick laugh,  his tendency to procrastinate...all me.

The ability to never meet a stranger or forget a face...y'all know that's all Cat Daddy.

The ability to hold onto what matters most in life...friends and family...Joey.  To forgive and forget...all him.  To cherish old friendships and still have room for new ones...him again.  To never let go of his past and the people who populate it, while reaching out for the future and the folks he'll have the opportunity to bring into his circle of friends...God has blessed him abundantly.

I would love to take full credit for what a remarkable man he has become...a loving father, devoted husband, a gentle man,  but in my heart I know this was breathed into him 40 years ago today.  This was also the day I lost my breath at the wonder of him and have yet to get it back.

40 years.

Man alive...that roller coaster sure went fast.  What do you say kiddo?  Wanta get back in line for another ride and try doing it this time with our hands in the air?  I'm up for it if you are...always! birthday wish for you is you never change.  I may have been your guidance counselor for the first half of your life, but you have been mine for the entire run...with my eyes always wide open...never wanting to miss a thrilling moment!

Happy Birthday my precious Oldest MelonHead!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nacho Everyday Decorating Show

Y'all told me to remind you when the Junk Gypsies' new show would be as of right now...consider yourselves done told.

This Saturday night, make a date with yourself around 6ish, kick your kicks off, mix up a batch of Frito chili pie, grab a cold Corona and let's celebrate Cinco de Mayo with muy caliente style provided by two of the hottest little chili peppers I know this side of Laredo...Amie and Jolie!

Can you say holy guacamole?
Before you start planning your menu and wardrobe...first head on out to their blog and give them some love for a job well done.  A  job achieved through long hours, hard work, perseverance, and a sense of who they are...with just a dash of pixie dust (that's just polite jargon for dirt!) and cream gravy ('cause we don't do nothin' in Texas lessin' there's cream gravy involved!) thrown in for seasoning.  For that...we all need to thank Janie and Phillip for being such great role models!  I tip my Road Crew cap to you, Mom and Dad...and give y'all a spicy high cinco! often do you get to watch a dream become a reality...series that is?

Now...cue me up some Mavericks and pass me the Pace and some chips...I feel a salsa comin' on!

Yee to the haw...ummm...I mean Ole'!