Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scavenger Hunt

When I decided to take vacation time to extend the Thanksgiving holiday to a full week off, I knew that I wanted to go shopping one of the days, but not Black Friday. Initially I thought about seeing if little brother wanted to go computer shopping with me, but first he injured his back and then I did the same, so I decided that could wait until another time.

I thought about going to San Marcos and hitting my favorite outlet stores, but I just could not get excited about the idea of clothes shopping.

The only thing that sounded like fun was a ramble to the little towns close by. I decided I was overdue to get myself over to LaGrange and check out the shops on the square. And, if I was heading east, I could hit the antique mall in Giddings on the way back home. If I still had any steam left at that point, I could drive on over to Elgin and hit the antique mall there. Now, that sounded like fun, so that was the plan.

I did not plan to have a sleepless night the night before. Whatever I've done to my back, it is not letting go and I could not find a comfortable position to sleep in for more than 20 or 30 minutes at a stretch. Mojo and I spent a good portion of the night on the couch and finally returned to bed about 4 a.m. when, exhausted, I managed to drop off to sleep. That lasted all of an hour before an impressive lightning storm began rattling the windows and two little dogs started madly scrambling for cover and I spent the remainder of the night holding both of them securely against me and assuring them that we LIKE the rain and the thunder that comes with it.

So I was dragging this morning and I had no choice but to get up and get with it, because I had made an appointment to stop by and sign my application papers for membership in the United Daughters of the Confederacy on my way out of town. Since it was a nice, cool morning, I decided to take the dogs along with me. My brief stop to sign papers turned into an hour's visit with the chapter registrar, who remembers a lot of the same people I remember from when I first moved to Bastrop. She and I are also distant cousins through my Lentz line and we both like chatting about family history. It was almost 10 o'clock before we pointed Big Red toward LaGrange.

Naturally on the way to downtown LaGrange, I had to stop by Weikel's bakery and pick up a few cinnamon rolls. I was glad to find that the little gift store Honey Bee's that was formerly in the neighboring store front and had somewhat disappeared with the opening of the new building, has returned. It carries some unique clothing and I was glad to see it fully stocked and back in action. I wasn't interested in clothes shopping this time around, but I'm sure going to head over there when the mood hits.

First stop on the square was the Hallmark store. This little town Hallmark is one of the best ones around and has a wonderful gift selection. Kitty cornered across the square are several little stores that I love to visit, especially Le Petite Gourmet Shoppe and The Shops on the Square. I found a great scarf and did a lot of looking in the other little stores before ending up at Le Petite Gourmet Shoppe. This little store was a pure surprise the first time I visited. Here you can find all kinds of things, from a wide selection of K-cups coffees and teas to cookbooks, to wine accessories, to top of the line cooking utensils. Today I met the owner, who was super nice. When I bought a small appliance, she gifted me with a scones mix to make up for the fact that I was missing a sale that would start on those appliances on Friday. She answered my questions about various brands of cookware she carries and when I get ready to buy, I will probably go back and buy from her. She gives the kind of customer service that makes you want to return, even if you might find the product cheaper at the big box store.

I was hungry at that point, so I headed to Giddings and decided I would indulge in a Whataburger. I was lucky that the parking lot had a nice grassy area adjoining and I let the two dogs out to stretch their legs before heading inside to order. I placed an order to go, planning to eat in the car and keep the kids company. I waited on a bench across from the order counter and was people watching, when I realized that I knew one of the people I was watching. In a county we don't represent and where neither of us would normally be expected to be on a work day, I and one of the attorneys I work for were both indulging in burgers for lunch at the Giddings Whataburger. It just goes to show you never know who you are going to bump into when you are playing hooky from work.

Whistle-Stop Antiques was my next stop. I can't believe how long it took me to check this place out, because it is a great way to spend a couple of hours, poking into corners and prowling for treasures. I found a great book on Texas Courthouses architecture and a sweet little tatted baby bonnet.

Today's haul

The little baby's bonnet caught my eye because I have been interested in antique tatting lately. You don't see much of it, but I've been able to acquire a tatted collar and a small tatted doily and now this lovely little bonnet, priced at a mere $5. I didn't at first realize that there was a note attached to the inside with an old safety pin. It made me a little sad when I did notice and read it. The note identified the baby for whom it had been made and the lady who had done the work in 1916. It always makes me sad to see family heirlooms end up in antique stores with no one left to care about their history.

About this time my back indicated it had had enough and the dogs were getting restless, so we opted to skip the Elgin Antique Mall. At least until Friday when, if memory serves, their Christmas sale should be beginning. If I have enough energy after the art show Friday morning, maybe I'll wander over to Elgin and see if I can save another heirloom from someone else's family.


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