Sunday, September 30, 2007

Peerless Pleasure

Too much fun in one weekend to blog about in a single post. My friend Ordell came to visit for a very short 4 days. We hadn't seen each other since 1979! Lots of laughs and a lifetime of stories to catch up on.

We happened to drive by an estate sale down the road from us on Saturday. I never knew the old lady who lived in that house but do know the 70 year old woman who was born in the house.

Quick post - just want to show some of the photos from the treasures we found. We got 2 white trash bags full of quilting scraps, an arm full of old hand stitched quilt tops, a finished quilt that's beautiful and this snazzy PINK sewing machine. I'm still going through the scraps and found a total of 7 tops in all the stuff we got. Some of the quilt tops are backed with old newspapers dated June 1950. She must have used the paper for her patterns. I think there are probably about 6 different patterns all together.

I can't seem to find any information on this old sewing machine. The machine itself is made in Japan but the pedal and motor both say made in U.S.A. The make is Peerless and the model is 55 De Luxe. I sure would like to learn more about it. If you happen to know anything about this beauty, I'd appreciate any information you can offer.

What a wonderful fun filled weekend!


Update: I noticed today that the actual model of the sewing machine is 35 De Luxe. The font looks like a 5 but it's a 3. So far, all I can find with a model number of 35 De Luxe are tractors.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Oscar "Rock Man" Robertson

It makes me a little sad to go through Ball Ground, GA these days. No more Oscar "Rock Man" and his red truck. No more chance meetings with the old man that many were afraid to even speak to. I've been going to this quaint little town in North GA for the past 15 or 20 years. The first time I drove through with friends from college, I absolutely had to stop and check it out. They thought I was crazy, maybe I was.

Building after building full of wonderful treasures - rocks, gemstones, geodes, crystals, minerals, beads, glass, wooden sculptures, and I can't tell you how many other things all displayed with the utmost of care. Nothing marked with prices that I could see. Not one thing.

The streets were lined with slabs of marble propped up against the old buildings. Every piece deliberately placed. Some behind old chain link fences in parking lots and others in areas cordoned off with rusty cables and yellow caution tape. All weathered over time but still sending a clear message to keep out.

Each of the eight storefronts had "No Admittance" and "Employees Only" signs hanging inside the windows and on the doors. Much of the contents seemed to be pleading to be let out while others seemed perfectly content with their destiny. Perhaps they were just waiting patiently for someone to liberate them from behind the picture windows.

The first dozen or so times I was there, the windows were lined with clipboards of mostly handwritten and photocopied manifestos. Everything from his official Honorable Discharge military documents to his flat tax resolutions. These papers have come to be known as "The Oscar Manifestos". Rock Man made no qualms about sharing his thoughts with anyone who cared to take interest and even some who didn't.

I don't even remember when it was that I first met Oscar but I do remember it was a very unusual and somewhat intense meeting. I was stopped along the road looking in the windows and up drove a big red truck. Then out stepped Rock Man. I can't even tell you what we talked about that first time but I do remember looking at his huge red nose and noticing how it looked like Jimmy Durante's nose. I bought a couple of things from him that day, a string of colorful glass beads and a hematite necklace.

Another time I stopped and got to talk with him, we talked about marble. I wanted some to build an outdoor patio. I asked him how much the slabs of marble were and he told me $20 a piece. I looked at him like he was crazy (which many thought he was) and told him that I couldn't afford to pay that price. Then he asked how much I wanted and when I told him that I didn't know for sure but I was guessing a truckload, he told me to bring my truck and we'd make a deal.

When I tell people about Ball Ground and Rock Man, someone always asks me how I know what the prices of everything are if nothing is marked. I tell them something along the lines of the prices being directly related to how well he likes your stories.

The last few times I went up to Ball Ground I didn't see Oscar and his red truck. I had a friend of mine from Colorado so scared of this old man that he later told me he was relieved he didn't show up when we were there together. Sadly enough, I later learned that Rock Man died in October of 2005. I was just in Ball Ground this past Saturday with another friend and everything is just as I remember it with the exception of all of his manifestos removed from the windows.

Thankfully, there are others who have taken the time to document some of the stories of this interesting little southern town and the colorful old man who made it was it is today. My stories are all first hand but you can find more information on Oscar "Rock Man" Robertson of Ball Ground, GA in Trent Cluley's very well written post titled Farewell to Oscar "Rock Man" Robertson. Linked from his blog, I also found photographs of "The Oscar Manifestos". Thanks to Slashplat for making that a public gallery. Check them both out when you have the time. You'll find much more detail than my accounts in this post.


More information on Rock Man and Ball Ground from another blogger called "The Dyer Consequences Blog". Thanks for finding me!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Funk Heritage Center

It was another beautiful day in North Georgia. I swear, I was just going out for breakfast and to stop for some vinegar (my favorite new "green cleaner") but couldn't resist the turn up another country road. There's something about being out in the convertible that just makes me want to keep going.

I ended up in Waleska, GA, home of Reinhardt College and Funk Heritage Center. This old house caught my eye so I pulled over to take a photo. My fixed length lens and vantage point prevented me from capturing the true essence of the old home. It looked like it had been built onto year after year and maybe was made up of tiny apartments for college students.

Right across the street from this house I noticed a sign for Funk Heritage Center. I've been told of interesting artifacts housed at this museum so decided it was a good time to check it out. Once inside, I had a nice chat with the women working there and then sat and watched a short digital film on The Southeastern Indians.

I had been to many of the nearby places mentioned in the film. Ball Ground, GA the site of the Cherokee Indians' ball field - a flat area where they would gather in large groups and play stick ball which is sort of like the modern day lacrosse.

Also mentioned were the Etowah Indian Mounds. What was once a large village with burial grounds and a plaza to people of this land is now a state park.

The museum does have a great abundance of Southeastern Native American Indian artifacts, a kajillion arrowheads, pottery shards, and the like all lining the halls going into a room that housed this huge petroglyph they called "The Rock". It was found in Canton at the current location of the Canton Super Walmart. Isn't that enough to make your stomach turn? I'm so glad the owners of the property donated what was left of it after blowing the rest up looking for buried gold.

As I was back in the lobby looking at other displays, the director of the museum introduced himself and asked if that was my car out in the parking lot. I told him it was and then proceeded to tell him how much fun it is to drive. We had a nice chat and he told me that I should go down and look around their "settlers village". He explained that they usually just take large groups of people down there but I was more than welcome to walk down and take a look around by myself.

Sun was shining, I had my camera around my neck so I took him up on the offer. I'm glad he explained how to get down there because it was a series of wooded unmarked trails and small foot bridges to the village.

Apparently, I did not take the most direct route because when I got to the clearing, there was a big field ahead of me. I walked the field and made my way to a small pond. Realizing I wasn't going to wade through the muddy water, I scouted my way around the pond, through another field until I saw an old log cabin in the distance. Ah! The settlers' village.

I'll save my favorite part of the museum for another post. There are many "Tiny Pharm Wife" chores to attend to since I've been out galavanting for the past few days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hard Light

There's something about the hard light in the late afternoon of early fall that I love. I have a difficult time capturing the feel in photos. It has to do with the contrast between the bright light and the crisp shadows. A few shots on the back deck.

Monday, September 17, 2007

HandMade Nation

I just watched the mini-preview for the movie HandMade Nation by filmmaker Fayth Levine. I love this kind of stuff! It's great to see DIY arts and crafts making such a big comeback.

I'm not sure how to embed the YouTube video here so you'll have to click on the HandMade Nation link to watch it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


It was just too nice of a day to not get out in the convertible with the 'Big Camera'. Temps in the 70s, I scooted north on I-575 towards the mountains. First stop was breakfast, where I glanced over the EOS Digital Rebel manual and enjoyed a cup of coffee until my breakfast arrived.

I love getting out and not knowing where I am going. That's how most of our best trips begin: "You want to try to go get lost?" Except this time it was just me and my Richard Petty straw cowboy hat with feathers while my husband was on the other side of the planet.

I saw a sign with grape clusters and an arrow pointing left off of the highway so I made the turn. Hmmm, nice day to check out a small vineyard. The turn was worth it when I crested a hill and saw beautiful green pastures and an old farm down below. About 5 miles down the curvy country road, I found the Sharp Mountain Vineyards. Pulled in and went inside for a t-tiny tasting of two different bottles of their wines. Both were good so I picked 4 different bottles and made my purchase.

Back on the road, let's see, where to go next? I drove another 20 miles or so and took the turn to Talking Rock, GA (population 49, no joke). We've been there before and I knew there were lots of cool little antique shops. I pulled into the first one I saw and looked around. Not much in the shopping mood, I got back in the car, hair up in hat, sunglasses on, top down and music up, I ventured up Hwy 136. I just kept following the signs not knowing where it would take me. That's the thrill of exploring.

What a nice surprise when I drove up to this beautiful scenic view.

I stayed a while as a few other explorers stopped, snapped photos, breathed in the fresh air, soaked in the sun and then went on their way. Just as I was getting ready to leave, a woman in a van pulled up by herself. When she got out she exclaimed "I had no idea I was up this high!" I could tell in her voice that she was very excited to find such a great stop. We got to chatting and she'd just moved from out west. She's been around mountains all her life and needed this communing with nature to set her mind right. I totally understood.

I asked her if she knew where the road went that we were on (still not having looked at a map once) and she told me that she thought it went to Amicalola Falls. We talked about it being near the trail head of the Appalachian Trail and how we both would like to section hike the AT. Then we talked about travels, and both having lived in Montana and California, etc... I'm not sure what it's called when you happen upon someone like that but we both enjoyed the chance meeting and exchanged emails.

A little further up the road there was another scenic stop. When I got out, I looked far ahead but was reminded of what stood right at my feet as I could smell the sweet grape-like blossom of the invasive kudzu vine. I mentioned it to another couple who was standing there and they'd both said that they had never known what that wonderful smell was until now.

Back on the road, with the wind in my face and the cool air of the mountains all around me, I ventured on. I guess it was about 20 or 30 minutes more and I started seeing signs for Amicalola Falls State Park. Right before I got to one of the entrances of the park, I saw this HUGE pumpkin farm. It was just too tempting to not stop. I was thinking it would be a great photo opportunity.

So in I went to Burt's Pumpkin Farm. Amongst some of the largest pumpkins I have ever seen, sunlight dancing all around, the smell of fresh baked pumpkin bread was driving me crazy. I could barely concentrate. I started taking pictures, snap here, snap there, bending and stretching to get just the right shot. Wondering if I should take a break and get some of that pumpkin bread or wait until I was done I noticed the message. The tiny little message on the LED screen that I had obviously been ignoring up until this point. NO CF CARD. No card. Nothing. Nada. Not one photo was captured from the entire time I left the house. Nothing.

Oh well, it happens. I had neglected to put the card back in the camera after I took the rainbow photo the night before. No one to blame but myself. Perfect time to take a break. I went back to the car, got the card out of the camera bag, placed it in the camera and went back for my pumpkin bread and "more" photos. It was a great day in spite of my oversight.

Granted my foot is only size 6, but here's one for size comparison.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The light.

We finally got rain. A good rain. The soak you to the skin when running from the house to the car kind of rain. I heard it fall all night long on the roof while sleeping upstairs and then again all day today.

Just as it was starting to get dark, I looked outside and saw the strangest light on the tops of the trees. I ran for the camera. Not in the camera bag. Drats! Not in the cabinet in the living room where we used to keep the camera. Drats! Not on my husband's desk where I thought he might have left it for me. Drats!

Then I looked inside of the cabinets in the lab and found it! But it had no lens. Drats! I grabbed the first lens I could lay my hands on and quickly attached it to the camera body. One quick test shot to see if it had batteries and a card. Click! So I ran outside, in the rain, through the construction debris and the light had moved.

You'll have to take my word for it, it was beautiful. I noticed some of the light still across the road behind Mrs. Neighbor's cow pasture. Just as I was moving around, looking for a shot of the light, a rainbow appeared. It was right in front of me. Just a tiny glimpse of the highlight of my day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


My ArtFest check posted/cleared the bank. That means I'm in! I still have no idea what workshops or accommodations I will get but at the very least, I know I'm going.

There will be much singing and dancing about the house today. :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Artfest 2008

I just mailed my registration for ARTFEST 2008! It went Priority Mail and I'll have my fingers crossed until I receive confirmation at the end of the month. This will be my very first time to attend. I've dreamed about it for a few years now. All I've been able to think about are Artfest Trades. I'm so excited!