25 October 2014


Friday morning 

Bright and early we began our Chapel Market adventure.  I was very excited about it because although a lot of the dealers who were participating carry a lot of the “Farmhouse” look which isn’t my thing, it was a chance to meet some other bloggers I have read and admired for a long time.  In particular I was going to meet Miss Mustard Seed, she of the milk paint and successful book fame.  I pre-purchased two little French cane chairs from her, and I was hysterically excited to get my hands on them.   

Then -- catastrophe!  I was just getting my eyes open a little after eight a.m. when Sweet Husband came barreling into the bedroom and barked, “The Jeep won’t start!”  

Uh-oh.  “What do you mean ‘the Jeep won’t start?’  I just asked you yesterday if the Jeep is ready for this little road trip!!!”

“Well, it was fine yesterday!”

“I certainly don’t feel comfortable taking my car because the “Service Now” light came on yesterday.  Anyway, it is too small to get two chairs in there!”

“I know, I know; besides, I just cranked it up, and that light came on again.”

“Well, scratch that idea ... what do you want to do now?”  He didn't answer.  

I drew myself up to my full height of 5’1” and asserted, “Well, I'll tell you what we are going to do right now.  We are going to go rent a van or an SUV!  I can’t NOT show up!”  

“Yeah, I guess ...  are you sure they won’t fit in your car?  Show me that picture of the chairs again.”

I did.  “See, they have arms, it’s not like you can nest them together.  Anyway, remember that time we like never got that little wicker chair in the back seat at that estate sale?”

He looked so pitiful, like a lamb being led to slaughter, knowing it was going to cost him some more money.  His shoulders always get that certain look of resignation when that happens along with a "just go ahead and kill me now" expression on his face.

Fully awake now --

“I will get dressed, and we’ll just pop over to Enterprise and rent something for today and tomorrow.”  

On the way over there we had a lively discussion about where they were located.  Since I was driving my “Service Now” car, I went to the place I remembered that I thought it was...  Turned out it was Hertz, not Enterprise.  Oh well, they rent cars, too -- good enough.  They let us have an SUV -- not a van -- because they didn’t have one, but a Kia Sorrento.  I worriedly asked the agent if this had those exploding airbags with the shrapnel, and he assured me it did not.  Not having had any coffee yet or even put my face on, I was dubious and unconvinced.

Next thing you know, after a cup of coffee and getting my makeup on, we were riding down the interstate toward Ft. Deposit where Priester’s Pecans is located.  Thirty miles or so South of Montgomery, it is a popular stop with travelers along I-65 going to and from the Gulf Coast.  Tour buses stop there a lot because they have very generous samples of all the kinds of confections and baked goodies for sale.  (We like the chocolate pecan pie, which is very good if you heat it in the oven before serving.)  

We just needed some pecan halves for the upcoming holiday season so that is all I bought this time.  They are online and have a catalog, too, if you need to send gifts.  (No compensation -- you know I don’t do sponsored posts -- they just have lots of nuts.)  There is also a gift shop with all manner of silly gewgaws, most of which are seriously overpriced, but a lot of people buy this stuff.   Usually there is a kiosk in Brookwood Village here in Birmingham during the holidays where you can pick up some pecans and gift boxes.

You may be scratching your head at this point, wondering where in the world is that crazy woman going to put two more chairs in her house.  Ummm -- the answer would be that two others are going to the attic to make a place for these.  


Both days were absolutely beautiful for this little outing, and in fact, this is the very best time of the year in Alabama -- bright and sunny, a little cooler although still warm and the leaves beginning to turn.  

We ate some BBQ and explored the Prattville area for a while, ending the afternoon with our first ever trip to The Bass Pro Shops.  

The store was so fun, kind of a theme park environment for outdoor enthusiasts.  We took some silly photos and our big purchase was a coozie with the store's logo.  

Saturday morning

Cut to Saturday, and we were off to the Chapel at The Waters which is a planned community built around little lakes.  It is very peaceful and serene out there, totally bucolic.  The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department was out in force and kept traffic moving right along.  All the people everywhere we went were just the nicest and friendliest you can imagine.

First order of business, I spotted my chairs in MMS's area, having first introduced myself with, “I am with those French chairs!”  I get very bashful and inarticulate around celebrities.  She is very cute and much more petite than I realized.  

MMS looks just like this photo on her book

We cruised around the rest of the market for a while to see what all was there. Some vendors were under a great big tent, and others were inside the Chapel with Miss Mustard Seed.  About 90% of the photos I made with my iPhone did not “take” including all those of MMS.  I didn’t get a single one of her to turn out!  I also forgot my copy of her book to get signed. 

I did get one barely passable photo of KariAnne of Thistlewood, (above) although the ones of us together didn't turn out, either.  That little woman has a really big personality!  Her son is so cute -- he looks just like her.  

I forgot my camera as well as MMS's book after all the excitement with the dead Jeep battery.  We were trying to use the iPhone camera (both of us are clueless), and most of the photos didn't turn out.

Linda of Coastal Charm (above) was doing a booming business under the big tent, and I got a shot of her listening intently to a visitor  but didn’t get close enough to say hello because she had a line of people waiting to talk to her.  We saw Layla Palmer’s tent right next to the chapel, but I did not see her around anywhere.  The folks from Cullman (Southern Accents) seemed to be doing a booming business, too, with their architectural antiques under the big tent.  

Some of the vendors had both Chalk Paint and MMS’s Milk Paint displays (I am not sure exactly who these vendors were because the layout seems to have changed from what was announced about a month ago).  MMS was to give a demo this afternoon with her milk paint, but we decided to hit the road back to The ‘Ham.  Neither of us slept very well last night.  It seems that when I am in a strange bed I just don't sleep well, no matter how comfy the accommodations.  Do you have this problem, too?

Moi on the way home, looking like a rag -- bloodshot eyes and black circles -- lack of sleep is a wrecker!

The world's most patient sweet man driving me home.

We covered the market, all of it, in an hour and a half.  I saw lots of cotton stalks and dried hydrangeas, lots of signs and chalkboard, ironstone, old typewriters, much painted furniture including stools and tote boxes, and several painted chests.  

MMS's pieces were beautiful!  I had been very curious about how the milk paint finish looked.  Like velvet, that's how.  There were quilts and dress forms and old hats and lots of items for the farmhouse/shabby chic look.  People were leaving with huge loads of stuff so it looked like The Market was a big success again.  

You all know me -- I am not into that farmhouse look although some of you girls do it very well.  Of course, my little cane chairs cross over in into French territory, even a dressier version of French style.  

These chairs wound up costing well over twice what the chairs themselves were actually priced because of the (1) vehicle rental, (2) an overnight stay at a very overpriced Hampton Inn in Prattville (don't stay here -- this is the first hotel in years that has not had a microwave or mini-fridge), (3) meals out and (4) gasoline.  So while I am very happy to have acquired the chairs, that blooming dead battery did put the quietus on doing other shopping!

Saturday afternoon

We arrived home a bit ago, and Sweet Husband conscripted a neighbor to help him see if they could jump the battery.  The fool thing started right up!!!  He has taken it out for a spin, but he did make an appointment for Monday with the service department at the Jeep dealership.  Oh well, as my sainted mother used to say, "Some days, it don't pay to get up."

P.S.  Come back next time to see the chairs in their new home.


  1. What an adventure! The chairs are beautiful and worth every penny. BTW, I have a Kia Sorrento - 2 in fact and we love them both. The older one has over 150 miles on it and they both run like a charm..

  2. Great chairs! Yea, I just came back from an overnight trip to CIncinnati to divide a bulk linens purchased with my sisters (we gave her a break, even though she is dubbed the CTO - chief traveling officer). That little escapade jacked up what was otherwise a good deal, even though I stayed at my sister's. I think you'd agree, the purchases are still worth it. (btw, I didn't sleep well either. We stayed up talking till 2 am, and then I kept waking up in a cold chill, as they have not turned their system to heat yet!)

    I love getting a glimpse of Chapel Mkt - aaand, I love all the dishes pictured. I have a fair collection of that Tea Leaf pattern of ironstone - surprise, surprise. :-)

    You look glam, even when you claim to have bloodshot eyes. The only thing that really surprised me here was you saying you went to the car rental without your face!

  3. Such a great story. You are a gifted writer. Your new chairs are so worth all the effort.

    Years ago I couldn't understand when my mother would say that she wanted to sleep on her own bed, not across the street at my house, but now I do.

  4. Forgot to add. I agree with you on the farm house look. I live on 180 acres in Georgia and farm house look is not for me. I want pretty!

  5. Oh Ellen, I have to laugh at your determination! And the fact that you spent the night in Prattville and went to the Bass Pro Shop!! Too funny! I am glad you made the best of it and had fun! I really wanted to go, so I appreciate your photos and words. I can't wait to hear from Linda, and her experiences at Coastal Charm! Your chairs are delightful, I can't wait to see!

  6. Oh Ellen, what a weekend. So sorry that the car didn't start and everything was down hill, but you did get to see some lovely treasures, meet
    mms and pick up your lovely chairs - that look great. I think you look terrific for not sleeping. When I don't sleep you could carry clothes in the bags under my eyes LOL.
    Have a terrific week.

  7. It's the life experience you paid for, not the chairs . . . right????


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