Boo Y’all!

Above, some Halloween ’08 scenes from our ‘hood. As always, we had a great time. Posse member Jinxie (that’s her, with her dog Patches) and I took a break from decorating yesterday morning in time to hit a few estate sales. One sale was at a sadly neglected old house on a great intown Atlanta street. We knew it had possibilities because the ad mentioned that the previous owner had been there for sixty years, and the sale incorporated “attic to basement.” The deceased homeowner, it turned out, had been a schoolteacher for many years. She had a whole library of vintage textbooks, phonics books, flashcards, and other school type goodies. At the other end of the spectrum, she had a fully tricked-out bar, complete with dozens and dozens of shot-glasses, many of them presumably pilfered from bars and restaurants around the country. So we figured she liked phonics….and doing shots. But the folks doing the sale told us she was actually a teetotaler–who just happened to groove on barware. Go figure! I bought a pair of old hardback Bobbsey Twins books . . . and a delightfully smutty-looking paperback copy of A Summer Place, by Sloan Wilson (better known as the author of The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit) with jacket copy promising “A compelling and adult novel about husbands, wives and lovers.” At the same sale, an elegantly dressed older lady stopped to ask me some earnest questions about a ginormous crate of Poise pads she’d found. Were they better than Depends, she wanted to know? I guess I looked to her like the go-to girl on such matters. The same sale had some elegant vintage clothes, including lots of sequinned cocktail confections. That was one rockin’ old lady–we could just see her dancing the night away in her sequins and Poise Pads. The next sale reminded us of why we love estate sales. It was held at a gorgeous Spanish-revival estate on Habersham Road, in Buckhead, which is one of Atlanta’s priciest addresses. Again, a presumably elderly homeowner, and a house that was sadly in need of repair. But oh, the architectural details! It was such a treat to see a house like that. There were some great antiques–not to mention lots of vintage furs, which we did not purchase. Jinxie got a great faux bamboo and wicker table, and a table lamp for her screened porch, and I bought a pair of nightstands for The Breeze Inn. Then we hurried home to sew up a Halloween costume for Boomerang Boy. Yes, at 22, he and his best friends and roomies were getting suited up to hit the bar scene on Halloween. (They took cabs!). Jinxie had already made the crayons for Michael (red) and Kevin (blue). So we whipped up a third for Andy (green.) As a retired schoolteacher, Jinxie amazed me with her ability to cut-out felt letters free-hand. While we were waiting for the boys to arrive for their costume fittings, we got a little glue-gun crazy and crafted a hat and collar for Patches. Then it was back home to our house to get ready for the great Halloween candy giveaway. We figured we handed out a new record 1200 pieces of candy last night. And we even won a Holiday Spirit award. Katie did all the hard work, dressing up the house–and me, as an old crow. Above are Katie and Mark and their dog Tybee. And Mr. Mary Kay, who is too cranky to wear a real costume. Today I hit a couple more yard sales, and scored a vintage chenille crib blanket for three bucks. The seller, a young woman with purple hair and multiple nose piercings, proudly told me she’d given her other one to the dog. I went on to another sale, which was really a goodie. I bought a 20-yard bolt of flannel interlining for five bucks. This will be great for the new drapes I’m having made for my sunroom. I also left a bid on a gorgeous Mitchell Gold linen armchair. The seller’s kittens had shredded the beautiful linen upholstery, and she’d bought the replacement linen to re-do it, but hadn’t gotten around to ever having it done. I couldn’t quite go the $200 price she wanted, which was actually pretty good for a $1500 chair, so I left her my phone number and a lower bid, and I’m hoping she’ll call. This is a really good strategy if you find something you love at a sale, but really don’t want to pay the stated price. You’d be surprised how many people don’t want to haul their stuff back into their houses at the end of the day. And now, it’s on to a neighborhood football game-watching party, where I will be taking my GatorHater Chili. Go Dawgs!